Colorectal cancer remains the second most common cancer for both men and women in the United States, with nearly 150,000 cases diagnosed each year. 6% of Americans may die from colorectal cancer, affecting both men and women. Risk factors for colorectal cancer include family history, previous polyps, obesity, smoking, diabetes, and age over 50. African-Americans may develop cancer at an earlier age and should begin screening at age 45. We now recognize that early onset color cancer (before age 40) is a rapidly increasing problem.
In a review of cancer rates over the last two decades, however, the American Cancer Society found that colorectal cancer rates are declining and much of this decrease is attributed to screening colonoscopy. Many studies support this. The National Polyp Study followed over 14,000 patients after removal of polyps and found a 76% to 90% reduction in colon cancer.
The Endoscopy Center of Southwest Virginia is committed to a process of continuous quality improvement to make colonoscopy an even more effective tool in colorectal cancer prevention. We support the tracking of colonoscopy quality indicators.
Colonoscopy quality indicators
Tracking of complication rates
Rate of complete exams of the colon (cecal intubation rate)
Time taken to inspect the colon
Adenoma (pre-cancerous polyp) detection rate
Tracking of preparation quality
Detection of sessile serrated adenoma (flat polyps)