U.S. Multi-Society Task Force Releases New Recommendations
Feb. 16, 2016 (Bethesda, MD) — It is critically important that colorectal cancer patients undergo colonoscopy after surgery to ensure that they do not have a second colon cancer, and to find and remove any additional polyps. According to new recommendations from the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer, the evidence shows that post-operative colonoscopy is associated with improved overall survival for colorectal cancer patients. Between 0.7 and 7 percent of colorectal cancer patients have a second, concurrent cancer.
These recommendations update the 2006 U.S. Multi-Society Task Force consensus guideline, which addressed the use of endoscopy for patients after colorectal cancer resection. The updated document focuses on the role of colonoscopy in these patients, as well as reviews possible adjunctive roles of fecal testing and CT colonography in post cancer resection patients.
Patients who have surgery to remove colorectal cancer should receive colonoscopy on the following schedule:
Before cancer resection surgery, if possible. If not, colonoscopy should be performed within three to six months after surgery.
- One year after surgery or one year after the perioperative (pre-surgery) colonoscopy.
- Four years after surgery or the perioperative colonoscopy.
- Nine years after the perioperative colonoscopy.
Subsequent colonoscopies should occur at five year intervals until the benefit of continuing surveillance is outweighed by diminishing life expectancy. If pre-cancerous polyps are found, the intervals for surveillance should follow published guidelines for polyp surveillance. This does not apply to patients with Lynch syndrome.
About the Guidelines
The U.S. Multi-Society Task Force is composed of gastroenterology specialists with a special interest in colorectal cancer, representing the American College of Gastroenterology, the American Gastroenterological Association, and the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.
The recommendations, “Colonoscopy Surveillance After Colorectal Cancer Resection: Recommendations of the US Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer,” are published online in American Journal of Gastroenterology, the official journal of ACG; Gastroenterology, the official journal of the AGA Institute; and GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the official journal of ASGE.