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Flexible sigmoidoscopy screening reduces colorectal cancer incidence, rate of death
Date:8/12/2014

Among about 100,000 study participants, screening with flexible sigmoidoscopy resulted in a reduced incidence and rate of death of colorectal cancer, compared to no screening, according to a study in the August 13 issue of JAMA.

Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly occurring cancer worldwide. Most colorectal cancer cases develop from adenomas (benign tumors). Removal of adenomas by colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy (a thin flexible lighted tube used for inspection of the inside of the rectum and lower part of the colon) has been endorsed as a primary prevention tool for colorectal cancer, according to background information in the article.

yvind Holme, M.D., of the Sorlandet Hospital Kristiansand, Kristiansand, Norway and colleagues randomly assigned study participants in Norway to receive once-only flexible sigmoidoscopy (n=10, 283); a combination of once-only flexible sigmoidoscopy and fecal occult blood testing (FOBT; n=10,289), or no intervention (control group; n=78,220). Screening was performed in 1999-2000 (55-64-year age group) and in 2001 (50-54-year age group), with follow-up ending December 2011. Participants with positive screening test results were offered colonoscopy.

After a median of 11 years, 71 participants died of colorectal cancer in the screening groups vs 330 in the control group. Colorectal cancer was diagnosed in 253 participants in the screening groups vs 1,086 in the control group. Analysis of the data indicated that compared to no screening, flexible sigmoidoscopy screening reduced colorectal cancer incidence by 20 percent (absolute difference, 28.4 cases/100,000 person years) and colorectal cancer mortality by 27 percent (absolute difference, 11.7 deaths/100,000 person years). There was no significant difference in these outcomes between the flexible sigmoidoscopy only vs the flexible sigmoidoscopy and FOBT screening groups.

Younger participants 50 to 54 years of age seemed t
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Contact: Øyvind Holme, M.D.
oyvind.holme@sshf.no
The JAMA Network Journals
Source:Eurekalert

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