What did this new study show about the effectiveness of colonoscopies?
In this study, about 12,000 people in Sweden, Poland and Norway got colonoscopies. They saw a 31% reduction in their risk of colon cancer and a 50% reduction in their risk of dying from colon cancer compared with people who were not invited to get a colonoscopy.
Was that about what would be expected?
Some US studies have suggested that colonoscopies are even more effective. One study followed nearly 90,000 health care professionals for 22 years. Some of them chose to receive a screening colonoscopy, and some did not. The researchers estimated that screening colonoscopy was associated with a 40% reduction in the risk of getting colon cancer and a 68% reduction in the risk of dying of colon cancer.
Why would there be different success rates in the three European countries compared with the US?
Dominitz says one reason might be that most people in the European study didn’t have sedation when they got their colonoscopies. Only 23% of the patients in the European study received sedation, but virtually everyone having a colonoscopy in the US gets it. Colonoscopies can be uncomfortable, and doctors might, without even realizing it, be less thorough if people are in pain. Thoroughness – getting the scope into the folds and crevices of the colon – is important for finding growths called polyps. The more polyps doctors are able to find, the more they can reduce the person’s risk of being diagnosed with or dying from colon cancer.
Author(s): Elizabeth Cohen
Publication Date: 11 Oct 2022
Publication Site: CNN