Study Finds that Colonoscopies Greatly Reduce Colon Cancer Risk

There is now even stronger evidence that colonoscopies save lives by reducing the risk of colon cancer.  According to this evidence, earlier detection of precancerous polyps leads to prevention and treatment.  However, now the difficulty is convincing more people to get the screening.

Research that appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that 53% of those who died from colon cancer would have been saved if they had early screening through colonoscopy.  Chances are that the results of these screenings would have shown the adenomas or precancerous polyps that could have been subsequently removed.  The report was made by doctors from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

The removal of precancerous polyps can prevent its development into a cancerous tumor.  The chief researcher of the aforementioned study indicated that their work on the long term assessment of adenoma removal showed success in prevention of colon cancer.

One in every 20 Americans is prone to colon cancer.  In the US, 140,000 cases of this deadly cancer are detected every year and 49,000 die as a result of the cancer.  The National Cancer Institute has declared that colon cancer is the third deadliest form of cancer.

As more studies are conducted on the long-term effects of colonoscopies, doctors and researchers are now convinced that having this a colonoscopy can thwart precancerous polyps from becoming mature, full blown tumors.  The upside of the screening is that it also puts suspicions of having colon cancer among those who undergo colonoscopy to rest. During the procedure, a small piece of the growth is removed and tested to see if they are cancerous or not.

The challenge for health professionals and even the government health department is to convince people to have regular screenings once they reach the age of 50.  The reason for the resistance for such a diagnostic method is because the preparation for colonoscopy is uncomfortable and embarrassing. 

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has recommends that those who are 50 to 70 years of age should undergo regular colonoscopy screenings. There are three methods that can be used for screening: colonoscopy every 10 years; yearly stool testing; or by having a sigmoidoscopy every 5 years together with stool test every 2 to 3 years. The early screening for colon cancer is beneficial and should not be taken for granted.