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Getting screened for colon cancer examination may trigger appendicitis

by , 08 February 2018
Getting screened for colon cancer examination may trigger appendicitis
You know that going for a colonoscopy, a procedure in which your doctor uses a colonoscope to examine the inside of your colon, can potentially save your life by detecting and removing colon cancer.

But here's something you probably didn't know: Going for this procedure might trigger appendicitis! This is according to a new study published in the journal JAMA Surrey.

So how exactly does a colonoscopy trigger appendicitis, what are the chances of this happening to you and should it stop you from getting a colonoscopy altogether? Keep reading to find out!

New study finds that getting a colonoscopy predisposes you have appendicitis in the next week

To reach their findings, the researchers behind the study used data from the Fargo Veterans Affairs Health Care System to review medical information on nearly 393,000 veterans nationwide who’d been screened for colon cancer between January 2009 and June 2014.
The team found that those who’d gone for a colonoscopy were predisposed to having appendicitis within a week, explained lead researcher, Dr Marc Basson. He is a senior associate dean at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences in the United States.
More specifically, the team found that appendicitis risk was at least four times higher the week after a colonoscopy than in the 51 weeks that follow. And, by some measures, the increase is 12 times higher. However, they noted that the risk of getting appendicitis after a colonoscopy is still small.


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The researchers aren’t exactly sure how getting screened for colon cancer can lead to appendicitis

Dr Basson said he isn’t sure how getting a colonoscopy may trigger appendicitis. However, he thinks that the preparations for the procedure may be to blame. The preparations, which clear the bowel, can cause damages in gut bacteria, which could lead to an infection in the appendix. Or, it could be the pressure that the procedure itself creates in the bowel, which could trigger an appendicitis attack.
While Dr Bassoon confirmed that the chances of a colonoscopy triggering appendicitis are still rare and that the possibility of it happening shouldn’t stop you from getting one, he feels that doctors should be on the watch for appendicitis after a colonoscopy.
If you’ve get screened for colon cancer and experienced continued abdominal discomfort afterwards, you should let your doctor know as it might be appendicitis.

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