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Colonoscopy: What You Need to Know After Studies Question Its Effectiveness

Colonoscopy: What You Need to Know After Studies Question Its Effectiveness



new european studies The results of colonoscopies, the largest of their kind, are mixed, and some people are wondering if they should be screened for colon cancer.

“I think the most important message is that colon cancer screening works and people should get screened,” Dr. Jason Dominitz told CNN.He is the National Director of Gastroenterology for the Veterans Health Administration and co-author of editorial This accompanies a study in The New England Journal of Medicine.

and Colonoscopy, the doctor inserts a long, flexible tube into the rectum. A small video camera at the end of the tube allows doctors to see inside the colon. They can look for precancerous polyps and cancerous growths, and other abnormalities, and cut and biopsy tissue that looks suspicious.

Doctors do colonoscopies in people with symptoms of colon cancer and to screen for colon cancer in people without symptoms. There are other ways to screen for colon cancer, such as checking for blood in the stool, but doctors often recommend a colonoscopy if these tests look suspicious.

“A colonoscopy is ultimately a test done to evaluate colorectal cancer,” Dominitz said.

Dominitz helped CNN sort through this new survey to understand what it means for you. Spoiler alert: colonoscopies save lives!

What did this new study show about the effectiveness of colonoscopies?

In this study, approximately 12,000 people in Sweden, Poland and Norway underwent colonoscopies. They had a 31% reduced risk of colon cancer and a 50% reduced risk of dying from colon cancer compared to those who were not invited to have a colonoscopy.

Was it about being expected?

Some US studies suggest that colonoscopy is even more effective. 1 study About 90,000 health professionals were followed for 22 years. Some chose to have a colonoscopy, while others did not. Researchers estimated that colonoscopy screening reduced the risk of developing colorectal cancer by 40% and the risk of dying from colorectal cancer by 68%.

Why are the success rates different in the three European countries compared to the US?

One reason, according to Dominitz, is that most people in the European study were not on sedatives when they had their colonoscopies. only 23% of patients with european studies However, virtually everyone undergoing a colonoscopy in the United States is sedated. A colonoscopy can be uncomfortable, and if the patient is in pain, the doctor may unknowingly not do enough testing. To find tumors called polyps, it is important to be thorough with the scope in the folds and crevices of the colon. The more polyps a doctor can find, the less the risk of being diagnosed with colorectal cancer and the risk of dying from colorectal cancer.

The bottom line: Do you still need to be screened for colon cancer?

Yes! Generally speaking, you should start getting regular colonoscopies at age 45.See these recommendations from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Cancer SocietyAlso, screening does not have to include a colonoscopy. There are other tests, but colonoscopy is the most common.

In a European study, people were invited to undergo colonoscopies. why should they be invited? Isn’t colon cancer screening standard practice in those countries?

Most recently, Sweden, Poland, and Norway started screening for colon cancer. Their program he started around 2015, and the study invited people to undergo colonoscopies from 2009 to 2014. They then followed the patients for about 10 years to see if they had developed colon cancer.

How many of the study participants who were advised to have a colonoscopy answered yes?

In a European study, 28,000 people between the ages of 55 and 64 were invited to undergo a colonoscopy. Only 42% said yes.

why so few?

Dominitz believes one reason is that people in these countries were unfamiliar with the idea of ​​having a colonoscopy. They had not had them before, and neither did their friends or family members. Ryan Reynolds) raise awareness about colon cancer.




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