Undergoing screening Colonoscopy is not only useful, but strongly recommended. Dr. Luciano Corazza, an expert in Gastroenterology in Matera, explains why.
Prevention of colorectal cancer
The CCR (Cancer of the Right Colon) in Italy and in the western world is among the most diagnosed neoplasms and is the second leading cause of cancer death. Screening programs modified CCR 5-year survival rates with rates of more than 90% in the case of early diagnosis and below 20% in the case of late diagnosis, as well as reduction in deaths by 60% if each individual is 50 years old underwent screening.
Colonscopy screening for colorectal cancer
Colonoscopy is the gold standard for the diagnosis and prevention of CCR. In fact, it allows the colon surface to be examined by inserting the colonscope, a thin and flexible tube, through the anus to the caecal bottom, and introducing air or carbon dioxide to spread the walls. In the course of colonoscopy it is possible to perform biopsies on areas of suspected mucosa and remove polyps, measurements of the colic surface with dimensions from millimeters to centimeters. Colon cancer generally occurs with an octopus, so their removal is a means of prevention of CCR. Colonoscopy is the most accurate method to identify polyps and colon tumors but it is not infallible: there is in fact a reduced possibility that lesions are not identified, especially if the intestine is not properly cleaned.
Is colonoscopy a risky or painful exam?
The colonoscopy is generally well tolerated, but during and after the procedure, due to the introduced air, during the examination it is possible to experience meteorism or cramps which usually resolve spontaneously. In order to make the procedure more comfortable it is possible to administer sedatives intravenously. Colonoscopy and polypectomy are generally safe procedures: possible complications, but the perforation of the intestinal wall which would require surgery and bleeding at the biopsy or polypectomy site, usually self-limiting, but with the possible need for hemostatic treatment in the course of exam or later. Sedative reactions or complications for cardiac or pulmonary conditions are described. Death is an extremely rare event. Performing a quality colonoscopy requires thorough intestinal cleansing that can be done by taking laxative preparations by mouth.
Screening program in Italy
In Italy, the screening program of the JRC includes the immunohistochemical immunohistochemical test of faecal occult blood in subjects aspiring between 50 and 69 years asymptomatic for intestinal disorders, with a personal and family history negative for polyps or colon tumors or inflammatory bowel diseases. . The positivity of the test, a possible indication of the presence of tumor forms or polyps, provides as a second level survey the execution of the colonoscopy which, performed with high quality standards, is an integral part of the screening programs.