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Single flexible sigmoidoscopy screening associated with reduced colorectal cancer
Date:8/18/2011

RC incidence and mortality were reduced by 18% and 22%, respectively. CRC incidence was reduced by 31% among those who were screened (per protocol analysis), and by 46% for advanced CRC cases.

Furthermore, CRC mortality was statistically significantly reduced by 38% in screened subjects compared to the control group.

The authors write that the reported findings, which are consistent with the observed reduction of CRC incidence and mortality among people screened in the recently published UK Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Screening Trial, support the hypothesis that "Flexible sigmoidoscopy screening offered just once represents a safe and effective method for CRC screening and ensures a long lasting reduction of CRC risk." According to the researchers, "A longer follow-up is needed to fully assess the impact on mortality and to estimate the duration of the protective effect."

In an accompanying editorial, Timothy R. Church, Ph.D., of the University of Minnesota, writes about what the best approach to CRC screenings may be. Underlying the three main CRC tests (flexible sigmoidoscopy, FOBT, and colonoscopy), Church mentions that a cost-effective analysis is an important factor in determining the best available method, stating, "these costs are driven by not only the up-front infrastructure costs for laboratories, equipment, endoscopy facilities, training, and manufacturing but also by the rates of false-positive results."

Church argues that since none of the standard three approaches to CRC screening is more effective than the other, until more substantial evidence is collected, endorsing all three methods is the best way to attack CRC. In the event of conflicting results from the tests, Church writes: "Any concerns about the potential confusion that arises from multiple approaches may be balanced by the advantages of tailoring screening to the preferences of the patient."


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Contact: Zack Rathner
jncimedia@oxfordjournals.org
301-841-1286
Journal of the National Cancer Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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