Inguinal hernia is not a sign of colon cancer: Results of a prospective screening trial

B. Avidan, A. Sonnenberg*, H. Bhatia, G. Aranha, T. G. Schnell, S. J. Sontag

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: It has been suggested that patients with an inguinal hernia harbour an increased risk for colorectal cancer. Methods: In a prospective clinical trial, we compared the prevalence of colonic neoplasms in 100 cases with inguinal hernia and 100 controls without inguinal hernia. The number, size, histology type, and the location of all colorectal lesions found during a screening flexible sigmoidoscopy were recorded. Results: Not a single case of colorectal cancer was detected in the patients with inguinal hernia pending surgical repair. In the asymptomatic control subjects, one Dukes A and one Dukes B1 colon cancer were detected. Polypectomy was performed in 15% and 17% of the case and control subjects, respectively. During a 5-year period following the initial screening procedure, none of the case or control subjects was diagnosed with colon cancer. Conclusions: The decision for or against performing an endoscopic procedure in a patient with inguinal hernia should be guided by the general principles of screening for colorectal cancer. The mere presence of an inguinal hernia does not automatically increase the risk of colorectal cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1197-1201
Number of pages5
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


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