A study published in the Sept. 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine shows the value of colonoscopy screening for the prevention of colon cancer.
Researchers out of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health analyzed medical data from 90,000 individuals in two major health studies and found that participants who received either colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy had a significantly lower rate of cancers in the rectum and lower colon than those who did not. The study also showed that colonoscopy was associated with lower cancer rates in the upper colon.
In addition, the researchers determined that patients who had a negative colonoscopy had a much lower risk of colorectal cancer for as long as 10 years, confirming the standard recommendation that people should have colonoscopies every 10 years after the age of 50. Announcement