Using flexible sigmoidoscopy to screen for colorectal cancer reduces cancer incidence, a new study finds. Researchers assigned more than 100,000 participants to receive flexible sigmoidoscopy alone, a combination of flexible sigmoidoscopy and fecal occult blood testing or no intervention.
After a median of 11 years, 71 people died of colorectal cancer in the screening group versus 330 in the control group. Compared to no screening, flexible sigmoidoscopy reduced colorectal cancer incidence by 20% and death from colorectal cancer by 27%. There was no significant difference when the fecal blood test was added.
Younger men and women, ages 50 to 54, benefited as much from the screenings as older adults who were 55 to 64.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer worldwide. Both colonscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy, which is slightly less invasive, are endorsed as screening tools.
I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with health information for healthier living.