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NIH study finds sigmoidoscopy reduces colorectal cancer rates
Date:5/21/2012

done during sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy, reduces colorectal cancer risk.

"The most important message is that, regardless of modality chosen, colorectal cancer screening lowers mortality from colorectal cancer, and all individuals 50 and over should be screened," said study author Christine Berg, M.D., chief of NCI's Early Detection Research Group and project officer of the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial.

From 1993 to 2001, a total of 154,900 men and women aged 55 through 74 were randomly assigned to receive flexible sigmoidoscopy screening or usual care as part of the PLCO trial. People in the usual care group (i.e. control group) only received screening if they asked for it, or if their physician recommended it. This large population-based randomized trial was designed to determine the effects of screening on cancer-related mortality. Participants assigned to the flexible sigmoidoscopy group were screened once on entering the study (baseline) and again three years to five years later. The participants were followed for approximately 12 years to collect data on cancer diagnoses and deaths (additional background on PLCO).

The researchers compared overall colorectal cancer mortality and incidence in the two groups, and also analyzed incidence and mortality according to the location of the cancers that developed. Cancers located from the rectum through a bend in the colon called the splenic flexure (see Figure 3) were defined as distal, and those in the transverse colon to the cecum were defined as proximal. Although flexible sigmoidoscopy examines only the rectum and sigmoid colon, participants with a suspicious finding were referred for a follow-up colonoscopy, in which both the distal and proximal regions of the colon would be examined.

Overall, after an average of nearly 12 years, participants in
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Contact: NCI Press Officers
ncipressofficers@mail.nih.gov
301-496-6641
NIH/National Cancer Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

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NIH study finds sigmoidoscopy reduces colorectal cancer rates
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