Although colon cancer screening is recommended by many organizations, less clear is which method is best to detect tumors and precancerous lesions.
A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that a relatively inexpensive and non-invasive test may be just as effective as a colonoscopy.
Meanwhile, a 23-year study, also published in the journal, has confirmed that removing precancerous polyps, known as adenomas, during a colonoscopy can reduce the risk of death from colorectal cancer by half.
In an editorial in the Journal, Dr. Michael Bretthauer of Oslo University Hospital and Dr. Mette Kalager of Telemark Hospital, both in Norway, said that based on the results, "an appealing concept would be to use colonoscopy as a triage screening test, offering it once for everybody at 60 years of age" and using it to classify people into high- and low-risk categories. Low-risk people would not need further screening while those with adenomas would be evaluated regularly.
One in 20 Americans will develop colorectal cancer. About 140,000 cases are diagnosed in the United States each year, resulting in about 49,000 deaths, according to the National Cancer Institute. It is the third most common cancer worldwide.
Article source - http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/02/22/us-coloncancer-study-idUKTRE81L27D20120222