Colon Polyps (cont.)
Bhupinder Anand, MD
In this Article
How should patients with colon polyps be followed?
Several expert groups have made recommendations for surveillance in individuals who have been found to have polyps on their initial examination, which usually is endoscopic colonoscopy but occasionally virtual colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy. The recommendations vary slightly from group to group but not in important ways. They all make recommendations on the basis of factors such as family history of polyps and colon cancer, the number of polyps that are found, the size of the polyps, and the polyps' histology. By using these factors, the interval between surveillance procedures can be tailored to the risk of developing further polyps and malignancy in the future - the higher the risk, the shorter the interval between surveillance procedures. The recommendations that follow are modified from the guidelines proposed by the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer published in 2012.
Adenomas can be classified as low risk (LRA) and high risk (HRA) for cancer.
LRA is defined as one to two tubular adenomas less than one centimeter in size.
HRA is defined as three or more adenomas, with one tubular adenoma greater than one centimeter in size, or an adenoma with villous histology or high-grade dysplasia.
Recommendations regarding when to have the third and subsequent examinations depend on the presence of LRA or HRA on the first and second examinations and can vary between three and 10 years.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/15/2013
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