Dr Jennifer du Toit and colleagues from England measured the risk of colorectal cancer with new onset rectal bleeding reported to primary care.
The team of doctors conducted a cohort study in a rural general practice in the United Kingdom.
|1 in 10 patients aged 45 or more with new onset rectal bleeding had colonic neoplasia|
|British Medical Journal|
The doctors assessed patients aged 45 or more with new onset rectal bleeding, irrespective of other symptoms.
The main outcome measure was percentage of participants in whom colorectal cancer was identified after investigation of the bowel.
The doctors found that during a 10 year period, 265 patients reported new rectal bleeding.
Of these, 6% had colorectal cancer, and 5% had colonic adenoma.
The team observed that only 2 of the patients with cancer had had diarrhea.
Dr du Toit's team comments, “We found that 1 in 10 patients aged 45 or more with new onset rectal bleeding had colonic neoplasia.”
“Investigation of the bowel should be offered to all such patients, whether or not they have other symptoms.”