A study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology examined how follow-up colonoscopy time after positive fecal immunochemical testing affects colorectal cancer rate.
Researchers examined 39,346 patients who completed a colonoscopy more than a month after a positive FIT-result between 2004 and 2012. Researchers evaluated the CRC incidence rate.
Here's what they found:
1. About 2,003 patients had CRC and 445 patients had advanced-stage CRC.
2. Researchers found when patients delayed the follow-up colonoscopy for more than six months, their risks were significantly higher.
3. The risks continued escalating if the follow-up colonoscopy was delayed for more than 12 months.
4. However, there was no significant increase in risk if the follow-up was done between three months and six months.
Researchers concluded, "We found that among patients with positive results from a FIT, risks of CRC and advanced-stage disease increase with time. These findings indicate the importance of timely colonoscopy after a positive result from a FIT."