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Am J Gastroenterol. 2011 Jul;106(7):1197-206;quiz 1207. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2011.128. Epub 2011 Apr 26.

Colorectal cancer screening and surveillance in the elderly patient.

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  • 1Division of Gastroenterology, San Francisco General Hospital, San Francisco, California, USA.


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Older age is associated with a rise in colorectal cancer and adenomas, necessitating the need for CRC screening in older patients. However, decisions about CRC screening and surveillance in older adults are often difficult and challenging. The decision requires an individualized assessment that incorporates factors unique to performing colonoscopy in older adults in order to weigh the risks and benefits for each patient according to their overall health and preferences. This review addresses the factors unique to colorectal cancer and performing colonoscopy in older adults that are relevant in weighing the risks and benefits of screening and surveillance in this population.

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