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Follow up colonoscopies

PGLGreg's picture
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

Waiting for a conference with my gastroenterologist, I leafed through a GI mag in his office and found an article recommending yearly screening colonoscopies for those over 50. When he showed up and told me I should get another colonoscopy in 3 years, I asked him why not one year? He said doctors had recommended one every year, and the once every 3 year standard was a political and cost compromise. I could have one every year (which he seemed to favor), but insurance wouldn't pay. Interesting, huh.


Posts: 719
Joined: Feb 2005

I think that with a diagnosis you can get a yearly colonoscopy covered. If your gastro says no, ask your oncologist - or surgeon if need be. Don't know what your situation is, but push for what makes you feel most confortable... All the best, Maura

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2599
Joined: Apr 2003

Greg -

You nailed it. Such is the sad state of medicine in this country where the foxes guard the hen house. The insurance companies are dictating medical practice. Just speaks to the need to completely overhaul our nationalmedical and insurance systems. (like that will ever happen).

ron50's picture
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov 2001

Having just picked up my prep for monday I'm thinking perhaps every ten years or so would be a neat figure, gets so the the high point of my life is a yearly clean out. What's the bet when they finally roll me out for an autopsy they will use a flexible camera. SSSIIIGGGGHHHHH.

nudgie's picture
Posts: 1483
Joined: Sep 2006

As of right now my surgeon and Onc Doc recommends I have a yearly colon clean out with Stage II.

vinny3's picture
Posts: 933
Joined: Jun 2006

It should depend upon the person's history. Obviously with our cancer survivor group it should be more frequent and if you check with someone else you may be able to get it more frequently. In a person with no history of colon cancer and no findings of abnormal polyps on previous colonoscopies then often 7 years is the recommended time. It seems that after the initial diagnosis a yearly scope would be in order and then if nothing found after about 3 of those it could be spread out longer.

Posts: 135
Joined: Oct 2006

Hi, your message is a bit concerning:( Is your gastro doc an oncologist? If not, why not ask your oncologist for some input? You might also try to tap the American Cancer Society or another Cancer Institute for some info regarding follow-up protcol. Keep us up on what you find and take of yourself....sometimes we need to advocate for ourselves...wish it weren't so...you have enough to think about.

Posts: 166
Joined: Jul 2005

Thats amazing! I guess the insurance company would rather pay for chemo and surgeries then preventative care. It would only make sense that the colonoscopy would be less expensive in the long run than the patient with cancer.
Even if you have to pay out of your own pocket please have one.
My dad's first colon caner diagnosis was in 1993 (resection + chemo) then cancer back again in 1996 (another resection + chemo) then went for check ups every 6 months till about 2003 then it kind of got forgotten ...then 2005... BOOM full blown colon cancer mets in liver covering too much of the liver to even do surgery....if only he had continued to go for his yearly check-ups it may have been caught at an earlier phase and surgery may have been possible. Don't wait...

PGLGreg's picture
Posts: 741
Joined: Jul 2006

But don't you folks think we should consider just how much extra safety yearly colonoscopies would give? They are pretty expensive. My doctor threw out a couple of figures (I hope I remember right): with a colonoscopy every 3 years, it's 1 in 10,000 a large cancer is missed, but with yearly colonoscopies, it's 1 in 6,000,000. A considerable difference, it's true, but the thing is, 1 in 10,000 is already quite good.

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