Risk of colon cancer raised after renal transplant

The patients have more than double the average risk of solid organ cancers, including colorectal cancer, they said, but until now no data has been published on the safety of colonoscopy in transplant recipients.

The study of 229 asymptomatic kidney transplant recipients across South Australia found a high prevalence (13%) of advanced colorectal neoplasia after FOBT followed by a colonoscopy.

Although faecal haemoglobin testing was found to have reasonable specificity, sensitivity for colorectal neoplasia was poor, the researchers said.

The study showed that eight patients would have to have colonoscopy to identify one case of advanced neoplasia.

If colonoscopy had been carried out only after a positive FOBT (as in population screening), three participants would have needed to have colonoscopy for each case identified, but 20 (69%) cases of advanced neoplasia would have gone undetected.

The study

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