, Volume 26, Issue 11, pp 3157-3162
Date: 02 May 2012

The impact of colonoscopy for colorectal cancer screening

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Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death. Prevention of this neoplasm should be achievable by screening programs in asymptomatic patients. The objective of the present paper is to assess colonoscopic findings in asymptomatic people submitted to screening.


A prospective study was undertaken on 153 consecutive asymptomatic people submitted to colonoscopy. Sex, age, previous diseases, and familial cases of cancer, as well as tobacco and alcohol ingestion were assessed. Patients with rectal macro- or microscopic bleeding and colorectal diseases were excluded. Bowel cleansing, polyps, angioectasias, diverticular disease, inflammation, and neoplasm were also verified. Polyps were classified according to their size, number, and location.


Colonoscopic alterations were detected in 99 individuals: polyps in 64.3 %, diverticular disease in 27.9 %, inflammatory mucosal alterations in 9.7 %, melanosis coli in 2.6 %, and angioectasias in 7.8 %. There was an increasing incidence of polyps in individuals older than 50 years. Multivariate logistic regression showed age and sex as predictive factors for polyps [odds ratio (OR) = 1.43; 1.19 < OR < 2.67].


The results of this investigation revealed a significant incidence of colonoscopic alterations in asymptomatic people submitted to colonoscopy for colorectal cancer screening.