According to a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, patients with precancerous adenomatous intestinal polyps have a lower risk of cancer-related death than previously thought.
Researchers in Norway used the Cancer Registry and the Cause of Death Registry of Norway to identify 40,826 patients that had undergone removal of intestinal polyps between 1993 and 2007 and followed through 2011.
Using this data, the researchers found that 1,273 of those patients were given a diagnosis of colorectal cancer, 383 of which died; however, using calculations, this number was about 4% lower than expected among patients that had intestinal polyps removed. In addition, they found that death from colorectal cancer among patients with high-risk adenomas was approximately 116% higher than expected, while death among patients with low-risk adenomas was 25% lower than expected.
Ultimately, patients who had low-risk polyps removed had a lower risk of mortality while those with high-risk polyps removed had a moderately higher risk of death, as compared with the general Norwegian population. This research may suggest that those have undergone low-risk adenoma removal may require less surveillance than previously thought.
Patients with intestinal polyps have a lower risk of dying from cancer than previously thought, according to Norwegian researchers.
This group of patients may therefore need less frequent colonoscopic surveillance than what is common today. As a potential concequence, the researchers argue, health service resources may be diverted to other, patient groups.
The findings were released today in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).