Dec. 17 (UPI) -- The risk of a cancer diagnosis or cancer death is significantly lower 10 years after an initial negative colonscopy, according to a new study.
In a study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers report they found that men and women who received a cancer-free colonoscopy screening the first time had a 46 percent lower risk of getting cancer results a second time. Those men and women also had an 88 percent lower risk of death related to colon cancer.
For the study, the researchers analyzed more than 1.25 million medical records of Kaiser Permanente customers who had an average risk for colon cancer between 1998 to 2015.
"Our study shows that following a colonoscopy with normal findings, there is a reduced risk of developing and dying from colorectal cancer for at least 10 years," said Jeffery Lee, Kaiser Permanente gastroenterologist and study lead author, in a news release.
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the country and the third most common cancer in men and in women.
People between ages 50 and 75 should get colonoscopies every 10 years, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that 67.3 percent of American adults in that age range were up to date with their screenings.
"These findings suggest that physicians can feel confident following the guideline-recommended 10-year rescreening interval after a negative colonoscopy in which no colorectal cancer or polyps were found," Lee said. "There is now solid evidence supporting that recommendation."
Another study done using data from Kaiser found many people with polyps on their colon don't get follow-up within 3.5 years.
The CDC reports 140,788 new cases of colon and rectum cancers and 52,396 deaths from those diseases in 2015, the latest year with available data.
People ages 85 and up are the most likely to develop colon and rectum cancers. Cases of those diseases are most prevalent among black men.
"This large study is the first with a high enough number of average-risk individuals to evaluate cancer risks after colonoscopy examinations, compared with no screening," said Douglas Corley, Kaiser Permanente gastroenterologist and study senior author.