Adenomas of the colon (large intestine) are a type of polyp that if not removed at an early stage can become cancerous. When planning for your colonoscopy, it’s important to be diligent in your search for a Gastroenterologist (GI) doctor. Some doctors find more polyps than others – and that translates into greater protection from cancer for their patients, so it’s important to select one who provides a very high level of detection.
In this blog, board-certified Manhattan gastroenterologist Dr. Anthony Borcich, will explain how your doctor’s adenoma detection rate impacts your colonoscopy.
What is a colonoscopy?
A colonoscopy is a procedure that uses a thin, flexible instrument called a colonoscope to examine the lining of your colon (large intestine). A very small video camera is attached to the end of the colonoscope, providing direct examination of the lining where polyps and cancers develop. The misty advanced colonoscopes actually have three cameras, providing for even more polyps detection.
This procedure is usually performed in order to screen for colon cancer to diagnose the cause of rectal bleeding. It typically detects and allows for treatment of precancerous growths, which are found in up to 35 to 40% of American adults.
What is the adenoma detection rate (ADR)?
The effectiveness of a screening colonoscopy is crucial and can help with prevention and early detection of colon cancer.
The ADR represents the proportion of people undergoing a screening colonoscopy who have one or more adenomas detected. The recommended ADR targets for a quality screening colonoscopy have been at least 15% in women and at least 25% in men (as a group, women develop fewer polyps than men).
A doctor’s ability to detect an adenoma – the most common type of polyp and the most common precursor of colon cancer – has been linked to the likelihood of the patient later developing colon cancer. The better the doctor is at detecting and removing precancerous growths, the lower their patient’s risk of developing colon cancer.
Any top gastroenterologist should have a high ADR. This number is now tracked in order to assure that quality examinations are being performed.
No single colonoscopy is guaranteed to have perfect polyp detection. But if a patient has only one polyp and it is not found during their screening colonoscopy, that patient is considered to not have polyps. Under normal recommendations, he or she would not have to return for their next colonoscopy for 10 years.
Even a small increase in ADR can have a significant impact. For every 1% increase in ADR over the target polyp detection rate, a patient’s risk of colon cancer falls by three times that or 3%, and their risk of death from colon cancer falls by 5%. Those doctors with high ADRs are providing their patients a higher degree of protection from cancer than an “average colonoscopy” in some cases up to 40%.
When should I undergo a colonoscopy?
For the most part, patients begin with screening colonoscopies at the age of 50. However, there are some relevant factors that could prompt a doctor to recommend a colonoscopy at an earlier age. These include:
- Having a family history of colon cancer
- Having a family history of adenomatous polyps
- Having a history of inflammatory bowel disease, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
- Having a history of heavy alcohol use
- Having a history of smoking
- Having type 2 diabetes
- Being overweight or obese
It should be remembered that if you have bleeding you should not wait for a “screening” examination.
Where can I see a gastroenterologist with a high adenoma detection rate in NYC?
Dr. Borcich has an adenoma detection rate of 38% in men and 33% in women. The lower percentage for women reflects the fact that as a group, they develop fewer polyps than men. His rate of detection far exceeds the recommended benchmarks for at least 25% in men and 15% in women.
Dr. Borcich’s patients are provided a screening colonoscopy that offers 40% or greater protection against colon cancer than the protection provided by the average screening colonoscopy.
He performs colon cancer screenings at Manhattan Endoscopy Center, a state-of-the-art facility offering the latest FUSE equipment for the most advanced screening and the highest detection rates. This technology allows for detailed panoramic imaging of the large intestine by using a three-camera design, rather than relying on the older single camera type used at most centers.
Schedule your colon cancer screening in NYC with Dr. Borcich by filling out the contact form right on this page or by contacting our office.