"There are options, which is good," Imperiale said. "The bottom line is that people should do something. What they do depends on their preferences and their risk, but they should do something -- do a test."
Another expert, Dr. Durado Brooks, director of colon and prostate cancer prevention programs at the American Cancer Society, agreed that seven years may be too short a follow-up.
In the study, there was a trend toward fewer incidence of cancer after screening, Brooks, said. "One of the questions is, is seven years too short a window? If they look at this again in another four or five years will the difference be statistically significant?"
Brooks noted that some countries have started mass colon cancer screening programs using flexible sigmoidoscopy, "because it is lot more available and less expensive than trying to screen everyone with colonoscopy. Flexible sigmoidoscopy is one of the methods recommended for screening by all of the major organizations."
For more information on colon cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.
SOURCES: Geir Hoff, M.D., Ph.D., The Cancer Registry of Norway, Oslo; Thomas Imperiale, M.D., professor, medicine, Indiana University Medical Center, Indianapolis; Durado Brooks, M.D., director, colon and prostate cancer prevention programs, American Cancer Society, Atlanta; June 1, 2009, BMJ, online; June 1, 2009, presentation, Digestive Diseases Week, Chicago
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