Navigation Links
Alternative to Colonoscopy Spots Cancers, Too

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Jan. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians can boost their chances of finding signs of colorectal cancer in patients with a second flexible sigmoidoscopy test, which is a less invasive procedure than a colonoscopy, a new study shows.

The study looked at the value of following up a negative flexible sigmoidoscopy test -- one in which cancer is not found -- with a repeat test.

However, "you don't find twice as many [signs of trouble], but 20 to 30 percent more. This has to be evaluated against the cost and the small risk of repeating the procedure," said study author Dr. Joel Weissfeld, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh.

The study appears in the Jan. 31 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The U.S. National Cancer Institute estimates that colon and rectal cancer kill more than 51,000 people a year in the United States. Screening helps identify cancer before symptoms appear, when it may be easier to treat.

Colonoscopies, which involve threading a scope with a tiny camera through the length of the colon, are the most common screening test for colorectal cancer.

An earlier study reported last June in the journal BMJ found that colonoscopy, the more expensive of the two tests, is significantly better at spotting cancer in older patients and remains the "gold standard."

But some patients choose to undergo flexible sigmoidoscopies, which use a shorter scope and examine half or less of the colon. They used to be the main screening test for colon cancer, but have lost their supremacy to colonoscopies.

Sigmoidoscopies may be more comfortable for some patients and they don't require sedation. But both procedures require patients to undergo the unpleasant cleansing of their bowels with the help of laxatives beforehand.

Sigmoidoscopy "does a pretty good job" of finding signs of colon cancer, said Polly Newcomb, head of the cancer prevention program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and co-author of a commentary accompanying the new study.

The research is part of a larger project examining various types of cancer screening. The researchers looked at the experiences of nearly 35,000 people -- aged 55 to 74 -- who underwent two sigmoidoscopies over a period of three to five years.

The alternative procedure increased the number of times that colon cancer or benign tumors were detected by roughly one-third. Physicians detected signs of trouble in about 38 per 1,000 persons after the first screening, and that number grew to almost 50 per 1,000 persons after both screenings.

The detected cancers were in the early stages 80 percent of the time.

While the new study has some limitations, it will help researchers as they try to figure out how often people should get sigmoidoscopies, said Newcomb.

After the age of 50, the American Cancer Society recommends a flexible sigmoidoscopy once every five years or a colonoscopy every 10 years. Other tests are also available, and the organization recommends them at different intervals.

More information

For more about colon cancer, try the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Joel L. Weissfeld, M.D., MPH, associate professor, epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh; Polly A. Newcomb, Ph.D., MPH, head, Cancer Prevention Program, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle; Jan. 31, 2012, Journal of the National Cancer Institute

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Social Anxiety and Panic - Alternative Treatment to Drugs and Therapy
2. MSU researcher linking breast cancer patients with alternative therapies
3. Cigars, Pipes No Healthy Alternative to Cigarettes
4. Study supports alternative anti-seizure medication following acute brain injury
5. Olde Towne Gaithersburg Welcomes Thibadeau Mortuary - A Lower-Cost Alternative In Funeral and Cremation Service
6. Chitosan as alternative to growth-promoting antibiotics for ruminants
7. Alternative to Statins Shows Promise
8. Find Safe, Affordable Prescription Alternatives at - New Site for Discount Prescription Drugs
9. World Renowned Los Angeles Surgeon Pioneers Alternative Orthopedic Spine Surgery
10. Metagenics Launches Estrovera™, an All-Natural, Clinically Demonstrated Alternative to Hormone Therapy for Relief of Hot Flashes and Other Menopausal Symptoms*
11. WebForDoctors' Medical Content Pages Direct Patients to Urgent Care Centers as Alternatives to Emergency Rooms
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Alternative to Colonoscopy Spots Cancers, Too
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ... , "Film editors can give their videos a whole new perspective by using the ... CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to ... app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry ... fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes ... important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to ... a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from ... common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent freestanding emergency ... its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce Dr. Ogunleye ... M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , Dr. Ogunleye ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  MedSource announced today that it ... software solution of choice.  This latest decision demonstrates ... to their clients by offering a state-of-the-art electronic ... establishes nowEDC as the EDC platform of choice ... clients.  "nowEDC has long been a preferred EDC ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced that it ... (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated testing solution for people ... Roche is the first IVD company in the U.S ... assessment and management. PCT is a sepsis-specific ... blood can aid clinicians in assessing the risk of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... VIEW, Calif. , June 23, 2016 ... a.m. CST on Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , , ... ) , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , ... Nitin Naik; Senior Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: