2013-09-17 17:04:05 UTC

Colonoscopy Is Better than Sigmoidoscopy in Protecting Against CRC

Sept. 17, 2013

Andrew Chan and colleagues report in New England Journal of Medicine that while both colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy reduce the risk of developing or dying from colorectal cancer (CRC), colonoscopy appears to be the more powerful screening method.

Colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy provide protection against colorectal cancer, but the magnitude and duration of protection, particularly against cancer of the proximal colon, remain uncertain. Andrew Chan and colleagues examined the association of the use of lower endoscopy with colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence and CRC mortality among participants in two long-term studies. They report in New England Journal of Medicine that while both methods reduce the risk of developing or dying from CRC, colonoscopy appears to be more powerful than sigmoidoscopy. Having a single negative colonoscopy significantly reduced the incidence of any colorectal cancer for up to 15 subsequent years, supporting the current recommendations for a 10-year interval between exams.

New England Journal of Medicine 2013: 369(12): 1095-1105

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