VIDEO: ASGE campaign highlights ‘The Value of Colonoscopy’
In this exclusive video, Jennifer Christie, MD, from the Emory School of Medicine, and Douglas K. Rex, MD, from Indiana University School of Medicine, discuss “The Value of Colonoscopy,” a new campaign from the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.
The campaign aims to raise awareness about the potential life-saving benefit of colonoscopy procedures and the importance of keeping up to date with screening.
The COVID-19 pandemic put a pause on elective procedures, including colonoscopy, and despite a re-opening of endoscopy, colonoscopies have not yet reached pre-pandemic rates.
“We saw a significant decline in patients coming in for screening colonoscopies,” Christie said. “If these screening procedures continue to be delayed, we may detect [cancer] at a later stage.”
The death of actor Chadwick Boseman from colorectal cancer also put a focus on how the medical community needs to address CRC in a younger population, particularly in the Black community. Despite a growing rise in incidence among younger patients, Rex said regular screening even in patients with a family history of CRC still is not cost-effective. However, patients and physicians need to be vigilant, particularly if symptoms arise.
“We really have to go by symptoms,” Rex said. “We have to take symptoms seriously, especially bleeding symptoms.”