Women with breast cancer were almost twice as likely to have adenomas (polyps) discovered during a screening colonoscopy than were age-matched controls without cancer. This was particularly true among older women, aged 65 to 85, where the risk more than tripled.
188 women with breast cancer scheduled for a screening colonoscopy were matched to 376 women of similar age. Overall 14.9% of the breast cancer patients had an adenoma identified during the colonoscopy compared to 9.3 % of the control group. Among women 65-to 85, 31% had an adenoma compared to 10% of those without breast cancer. Colorectal cancer was found infrequently — 2 cases in each group.
Women with breast cancer who were on anti-estrogen therapy tended to have lower rates of adenomas than those who were not on therapy.
Thomas OchsenkÃ¼hn, MD headed a team in Munich, Germany who concluded:
Women with breast cancer above the age of 65 years have an increased risk of colorectal adenomas compared to women without breast cancer. Women with a diagnosis of breast cancer should especially be encouraged to participate in colorectal cancer-screening programs which, in most countries, call for screening of all average-risk individuals over the age of 50 years.
[Read the study abstract in the online edition *Digestion* -- Vol.. 72, No.2-3, 2005.](http://content.karger.com/ProdukteDB/produkte.asp?Aktion=ShowAbstract&ProduktNr=223838&Ausgabe=231385&ArtikelNr=88370)