New research results out today suggest that 1 in 13 colon cancers may be missed on colonoscopy. There are a few reasons this may happen – some you can control and some you can’t. Completing the colonoscopy prep is one you can control – having a clean, prepped colon reduces the changes that a tumor is missed during the exam. But the results also highlight that colon cancer screening is just one part of colon cancer prevention.
A study from Wei and colleagues showed that even among those who are compliant with colon cancer screening recommendations, other lifestyle factors (maitaining a healthy body weight, limiting red and processed meat intake, regular physical activity, taking a folate supplement) contributed to a significant risk reduction.
This means even if you get the “all clear” after a colonoscopy, you shouldn’t sit back and think you’ve done all you can. You’ve taken a great first step, so use that momentum to make other healthy choices too.