I went through treatment for stage 3 breast cancer in 2007....

2 answers | Last updated: Nov 02, 2016
Freesy asked...

I went through treatment for stage 3 breast cancer in 2007. For my yearly check up, my oncologist requests a colonoscopy, but every year, no doctor in my town will perform the procedure. They say I only need one every 10 years. I am 55 years old and had a clear colonoscopy five years ago. Who should I trust?


Expert Answers

Linda Ackerman, R.N. has clinical experience in oncology, women's health, and medical nursing. She has been practicing for more than 20 years and is a licensed registered nurse in both Florida and Wisconsin. In addition, she serves as a board member of Breast Cancer Recovery and the Wisconsin Cancer Council.

Both your oncologist and the doctors who perform colonoscopy procedures have your best interest in mind, however, I think your oncologist is referencing the ASCRS (American Society of Colorectal Surgeons) guideline, which recommends for women with a personal history of breast or female genital cancer to undergo a colonoscopy every 5 years. The current national screening guidelines state "that for a person who underwent a colonoscopy with negative results (without a personal history of cancer) do not need a repeat colonoscopy for 10 years. " I think what has happened is that your oncologist is basing his recommendation on a different standard of care guideline than the physicians who would perform the procedure. My recommendation is to request that your oncologist speak with the physician who previously preformed your colonoscopy to discuss your individual circumstances. Perhaps, based on your unique history of breast cancer they can mutually agree on what the best option is for you at this time.


Community Answers

Greendeere40 answered...

This question pertains to the question when should you have a colonscopy. I was diagnosed last March with colon cancer. It was taking care of and didn't need to take at this point any treatments. My question: The doctor who was my surgeon would like me to go for another colonscopy in about 9 months and my PCP would like me to go in 12 months. Does this sound right or can I wait longer?