Tuesday, 4 December 2012

When it comes to colon cancer checks, options exist

(Reuters Health) - For people who have had a negative colonoscopy, less-invasive screening options may work just fine for follow-up cancer tests, a new analysis suggests.
"No one screening test is right for everyone," lead researcher Amy Knudsen, from the Institute for Technology Assessment at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, told Reuters Health in an email.
The findings, which are based on a mathematical model, showed life expectancy varied by only a few days between people who continued getting colonoscopies every ten years and those who chose annual fecal blood tests and other less-invasive alternatives.
"The best test for you depends on your risk, your preferences, and which screening approach you are willing and able to adhere to, since no screening is effective unless it's done," she added.
"Patients should talk with their doctors to decide which test is best for them."
Knudsen's team fed colon cancer screening and survival data into a National Cancer Institute (NCI) model, starting with hypothetical study participants that had a negative colonoscopy at age 50.

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