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Colonoscopy Remains the Most Effective Screening Option for Colon Cancer
Date:10/2/2007

Only screening method that allows for detection of polyps and their removal

during the same exam, BEFORE they progress into cancer

OAK BROOK, Ill., Oct. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- According to the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), colonoscopy remains the most effective screening option for colorectal cancer. Colonoscopy is widely accepted as the best method for colon cancer screening because it allows the trained physician to thoroughly evaluate the entire colon. Colonoscopy has a high detection rate for polyps, including small lesions, and the ability to remove them immediately during the procedure, rather than scheduling a second exam. Biopsies can also be taken of any abnormal areas at the same time as the screening or diagnostic test.

"Although there have been recent studies showing improvements in other colon cancer screening modalities, colonoscopy is the most effective because it is both diagnostic and therapeutic. Not only does it allow us to see the entire colon and identify polyps of all sizes, but it also allows us to remove polyps during the same exam, before they turn into cancer," said Mark Pochapin, MD, spokesperson for the ASGE. "Many colorectal cancer deaths can be prevented through proper detection. If you are over 50 or have a family history of colorectal cancer, talk to your doctor about getting screened today."

Earlier this year, the American Cancer Society announced drops in cancer deaths, which were attributed to earlier detection and improved treatment. The biggest decrease occurred in colorectal cancer deaths.

A 2006 study by Yale researchers found that, as Medicare coverage for colorectal cancer screening expanded, so did colonoscopies and with that, early cancer detection rates. The key variable in survival statistics among cancers, including colorectal, is early detection and prevention. These findings support ASGE's position that colonoscopy is the most effective screening
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SOURCE American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
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