Older diabetics should receive earlier colon screening, says study

Wed, 23 May 2012
A new study from the United States has argued that type 2 diabetes patients who are over 40 should receive earlier colon screening there because they have a similar risk of developing pre-cancerous growths as non-diabetics who are in their 50s.

The research showed that diabetics in their 40s have the same likelihood of having adenomas, pre-cancerous colon growths, as those in their 50s without diabetes, and that diabetes could be a high risk factor of colon cancer. Susan Hongha Vu, from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, said "It's almost as is if having diabetes advances your age by 10 years in this regard."

Although the results are preliminary, if confirmed they could lead to earlier guidelines about diabetes patients receiving colon cancer screening such as a colonoscopy or blood tests than the current recommended age of 50 in the United States.

Hu added "A lot of studies have shown an association between type 2 diabetes and an increased risk of colon cancer. Studies also show that diabetes increases the risk of precancerous lesions in the colon."

The study involved assessing the medical records of different patients groups of people who had received a colonoscopy over a six-year period, although it did not offer incontrovertible evidence that diabetes causes or directly contributes to polyp growth.
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