The skill and experience of the doctor performing your colonoscopy makes a difference in whether you’ll develop colon cancer or die from it, a new study finds. The results of the study are just the latest body of research to suggest that not all doctors are created equal and highlight the importance of patients taking an active role in their healthcare for the best possible outcomes.
While colonoscopies are widely acknowledged as one of the most powerful methods of preventing colorectal cancer, the study’s authors found that “high quality” colonoscopies, or screenings performed by doctors adept at identifying many precancerous growths, were associated with a 50 to 60 percent lower risk for colon cancer and colon cancer fatalities over a patient’s lifetime.
How to Find the Right Doctor for Your Colonoscopy
The first thing to look for when finding a doctor for your colonoscopy is whether the physician has the appropriate training and experience with the procedure. If it is your first time seeing the doctor, don’t be afraid to ask questions, such as:
- How often do you perform colonoscopies?
- How long does the procedure normally take you to perform?
- What is your polyp detection rate for patients my age?
Additionally, you can ask whether the doctor is a member of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy or other professional society that requires documentation of training. Some hospitals also offer colonoscopy quality report cards for physicians.
After your colonoscopy, be sure to ask your physician whether the pre-colonoscopy prep was adequate to allow thorough visualization of the entire colon. Additionally, ask for the pathology of the polyps removed and when your next colonoscopy should be performed according to published national guidelines.
More information on colonoscopy guidelines and colorectal cancer prevention can be found at the American Cancer Society.
Protect Your Rights
The attorneys and medical investigators at Schochor, Federico and Staton have successfully handled numerous cases involving delayed colon cancer diagnosis.
If you believe you or a loved one has been harmed as a result of a doctor’s negligence, we are here to help. Contact us for a free consultation. You pay nothing unless a recovery is made on your behalf.