CSN Login
Members Online: 9

Colonoscopy wait time

prezmic
Posts: 36
Joined: Jul 2011

Does anyone have a suggestion or knowledge as to the minimum time to wait for a routine colonoscopy following IMRT/BT?

My prostate treatments were in the later part of 2011 and I was due for a colonoscopy in January 2012. I decided to postpone it so soon after treatments. Will one year be enough of a time lag to feel safe scheduling it later this year?

I will discuss this with my urologist on my next visit but wondered if any of you had thoughts.

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 650
Joined: Mar 2010

I never thought about it before but it seems to me that IMRT/BT or any other radiation treatment for PCa really shouldn't have any effect on a colonoscopy.

The purpose of a colonoscopy is simply to visually inspect the interior of the large intestine for polyps and any evidence of cancer or other problems. Don't see how having IMRT or BT could affect that.

The radiation used in IMRT/BT is located in or focused on the prostate, not the colon. Any spill over could have an effect on the rectum, bladder and other nearby structures but I haven't heard of any such effect on the colon. If the rectum was affected, it might make the insertion of the colonoscopy tube uncomfortable BUT, if you get a full colonoscopy, they put you "under" and you won't feel anything anyway.

Let us know what your urologist says about this; better yet, ask a gastroenterologist (who performs the procedure) what s/he thinks about it.

Kongo's picture
Kongo
Posts: 1167
Joined: Mar 2010

As Swingshiftworker indicated, a colonoscopy following radiation isn't that big a deal. I had one about 12 months after my treatment by CyberKnife. My radiologist just said to make sure the doctor performing the colonoscopy knew that you had radiation treatment. Have fun.

mrspjd
Posts: 693
Joined: Apr 2010

 Prez,

I believe you had LDRB with Cesium 131 isotope implants following IMRT. Usually, prophylactic colonoscopy is advised prior to, or 1 year after, most LDRBrachy txs. 

HOWEVER, if you are experiencing any ongoing rectal symptoms at all (such as bleeding), please see your RO and a knowledgeable gastroenterologist immediately.  

Best. 

prezmic
Posts: 36
Joined: Jul 2011

Thanks for the advice. I do plan to discuss with my gastroenterologist my previous treatment and the need to be gentle.

I am not having any problems, this is routine. This will be my 4th colonoscopy. Family history led me to start this routine over 14 years ago. I do plan on continuing a watchful eye for any future problems related to my RT.

To paraphrase a famous quote- Eternal vigilance is the price for a long and happy life.

We are all aware that our future holds many more blood tests, DREs, MRIs, Bone scans, and whatever else is needed to secure whatever time we have left on this planet.

califvader's picture
califvader
Posts: 108
Joined: Aug 2010

i had imrt treatments in june of '11. one year later i had a colonoscopy. everything checked out ok.

prezmic
Posts: 36
Joined: Jul 2011

I discussed this with my Urologist last week. He said the procedure was safe to perform, but to remind the gastro doc to not take any biopsy tissue from the area near the prostate due to possible healing issues. I'm scheduled for December.

tonybuxton
Posts: 78
Joined: May 2012

My youngest brother died of corectal cancer and last week my younger brother has been diagnosed with it. He told me that I should have a colonoscopy because if your siblings have it you have a high chance of getting it too.
My question. Is it safe to have a colonoscopy 7 months after IMRT?
Tony

Swingshiftworker
Posts: 650
Joined: Mar 2010

I (and others) have already commented about this above.

FWIW, I don't see why there should be any concern about getting a colonoscopy 7 months after any radiation treatment (whether IMRT or anything else) but, if you're in doubt, the people to ask are your RO and gastroenterologist.

Would hate to hear that you later discovered a cancerous growth in your colon because you neglected to have that checked.

Good luck!

prezmic
Posts: 36
Joined: Jul 2011

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/RCOGgroup/message/2251

Basically this is what my urologist told me.

Got this from another forum:

Volume 5 Number 9, "Radiation Therapy, PC-SPES Revisitied, and a St. John's Wort Warning," published in March 2001. Most of the first three pages are about radiation, and he includes a warning about colonoscopies for radiation therapy patients on page 3. Here's a brief excerpt: "... Colonoscopy without a biopsy appeared well tolerated. If you have had radiation therapy for prostate cancer and your physician recommends colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy, make sure that adequate precautions are taken to avoid injury to the front part of the bowel located adjacent to the prostate gland. Like always, consult your radiation therapist before undergoing either procedure."

mrspjd
Posts: 693
Joined: Apr 2010

Tony,

Sorry that you lost your youngest brother to colorectal cancer and that your younger brother has received that same cancer dx. Just as the cancer risk increases for siblings when one or more are dx’d with colorectal cancer, the same familial link is true for PCa, especially pertaining to first degree relatives, i.e. father, brothers and sons. Since you have a dx of PCa, your younger brother is also at a higher risk for PCa. Given his colorectal cancer dx and your situation, if you haven’t already done so, you may wish to encourage him to talk with his oncologist about being screened for PCa.

Prezmic has provided you with some good info. Best of luck to you and your brother.

Be well.

PS: IMO, skip the sigmoidoscopy or the “virtual” colonoscopy that some doctors are offering and insist on a real time colonoscopy procedure performed by an experienced gastroenterologist.

Subscribe with RSS
About Cancer Society

The content on this site is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions.

Copyright 2000-2014 © Cancer Survivors Network