Anatomic distribution of cancers and colorectal adenomas according to age and sex and relationship between proximal and distal neoplasms in an i-FOBT-positive average-risk Italian screening cohort

F. Parente, S. Bargiggia, C. Boemo, C. Vailati, E. Bonoldi, A. Ardizzoia, A. Ilardo, F. Tortorella, S. Gallus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background and aims: Subsite-specific incidence rates of colorectal cancer (CRC) and adenomas may vary considerably by race, sex and age as well as due to different screening strategies. We assessed variations in the anatomical distribution of adenomas according to age and sex in an average-risk screening cohort testing positive at immunological faecal occult blood test (i-FOBT) in northern Italy. Methods: Data from 2,281 consecutive asymptomatic i-FOBT-positive subjects ageing 50-70 years undergone colonoscopy were reviewed. Size, number, macroscopic and histological features of all adenomas found as well as their proximal or distal location in relation to the splenic flexure were examined. Odds ratios (OR) of proximal neoplasms, according to the presence of distal neoplasms and other selected covariates were assessed by multiple logistic regression analysis. Results: A total of 2,599 neoplasms were found in 1,396 patients. Of these, 116 (5 %) were colorectal cancers, diagnosed in 106 patients. Out of 2,483 adenomas found, 1,564 (63 %) were sessile, 795 (32 %) were peduncolated and 124 (5 %) were flat-type; 54 % of all adenomas were tubular, 36 % were tubulovillous or villous, and 10 % were serrated adenomas. The majority of neoplasms (66 %) were located in the distal colon. Tumour subsite distribution was consistent in both sexes, whereas significant proximal migration of neoplasms occurred in the older age cohort. Indeed, the rate of proximal neoplasms in patients aged ≥60 years was 37 % as compared with 29 % in those ageing 50-59 years. Male gender (OR 1.84), age of 60 years or older (OR 1.44), having a family history of colorectal neoplasms (OR 1.47) and presence of at least 1 distal advanced adenoma (OR 1.63) were all significant predictors of advanced proximal neoplasms. Conclusions: A left to right shift of colorectal adenomas with increasing age is evident in northern Italian asymptomatic i-FOBT-positive population. Advanced proximal neoplasms are not uncommon in subjects with or without distal adenomas, especially after 60 years of age. This should be carefully considered when implementing public screening strategies for CRC since the use of flexible sigmoidoscopy as a screening tool, particularly in older age groups, appears to be less effective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-64
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Colorectal Disease
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Colorectal adenomas
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Distal colonic neoplasms
  • Proximal colonic neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

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