Two weeks ago, I saw my 39-year-old patient with long-standing ulcerative colitis in clinic for new onset bleeding per rectum. She mentioned needing to attend an upcoming conference, and was eager to get to the source of the problem and start treatment right away. Given her new symptoms, we decided on an urgent colonoscopy the following week, so we could diagnose the underlying cause and begin treatment.
Prior to this episode, her ulcerative colitis had been in remission, and given her increased risk of colon cancer from long-standing disease, she has been undergoing surveillance colonoscopy to look for dysplasia or cancer every 2 years. Her last surveillance colonoscopy was 1 year ago.