Colonoscopy Tied to Lower Risk of Advanced Cancer

March 5, 2013

A new multi-disciplinary study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that people who have had a colonoscopy in the past decade are less likely to be diagnosed with advanced colon cancer than those who haven't been screened recently. Researchers found less-invasive tests, known as sigmoidoscopies, were also tied to a lower risk of advanced tumors - but only those growing in one side of the colon. It's still not clear what that means for cancer survival, according to Chyke Doubeni, MD, MPH, who led the new study. But while researchers wait for results from more controlled, long-term trials, the new report is more evidence that screening in general is beneficial, researchers said. "There's a variety of screening tests for us to choose from," Doubeni told Reuters Health. "This study doesn't show that colonoscopy is the only test, but it does show that colonoscopy has the advantage in being able to see the right side (of the colon)… unlike sigmoidoscopy and fecal occult blood testing." HealthDay news syndicate and Yahoo! News (via, also covered the story, which was picked up by news outlets across the country.

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