Cancer Council Australia has published new clinical guidelines to help the medical profession prevent, detect and manage bowel cancer.
According to Dr Cameron Bell, Chair of the Surveillance Colonoscopy Guidelines Working Party, the guidelines provide evidence-based information to help practitioners make decisions about the timing of surveillance colonoscopy.
“In the past 10 to 15 years, there have been major changes in thinking about colonoscopy and its effectiveness in reducing bowel cancer deaths,” Dr Bell said. “Colonoscopy has its limitations, but high-quality colonoscopies are effective in monitoring patients known to be at high risk of bowel cancer.”
“Those at normal risk are advised to take an FOBT every two years from the age of 50.”
The guidelines provide recommendations on:
- When to repeat colonoscopy after adenomatous polypectomy
- When to repeat colonoscopy after curative resection for colorectal cancer
- When to perform colonoscopy in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.
The guidelines have been produced by a process of systematic literature review, critical appraisal and broad consultation. The guidelines were partially funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing under the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program and have been approved by the National Health and Medical Research Council. (1)
Cancer Council Australia’s CEO, Professor Ian Olver, said that more than 14,200 Australians were diagnosed with bowel cancer each year, and more than 4000 died from it.
“Bowel cancer is our country’s second biggest cancer killer. These guidelines will provide a useful resource for helping colonoscopists manage patients with bowel cancer and those at risk for it,” Professor Olver said.
“The literature review also provides a timely reminder that the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program is a useful start for reducing bowel cancer in the general population by getting them to start FOB testing at age 50, with colonoscopies providing ongoing surveillance for high risk groups.”
The guidelines are also available on Cancer Council Australia’s new Cancer Guidelines Portal.
(1) The guidelines were approved by the Chief Executive Officer of the National Health and Medical Research Council