A  A  A   Print
Another Study Finds Colonoscopy Can Save Lives

Another Study Finds Colonoscopy Can Save Lives

WEDNESDAY, June 19 (HealthDay News) -- There's more evidence that routine colonoscopy confers life-extending benefits.

A new study that included almost 1,100 patients found that those whose cancer was spotted by colonoscopy tended to have an earlier stage of disease at the time of their diagnosis, as well as better survival.

In contrast, patients whose colorectal cancer was not diagnosed through colonoscopy were at higher risk of having more invasive tumors, as well as cancers that had already spread to other areas of the body.

The findings provide "yet another compelling reason for asymptomatic, average-risk individuals over the age of 50 to get screened by colonoscopy," said Dr. David Carr-Locke, chief of the division of digestive diseases at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. Carr-Locke was not involved in the study.

The findings were published online June 19 in the journal JAMA Surgery.

In the study, researchers led by Ramzi Amri, of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, looked at outcomes for nearly 1,100 patients treated for colon cancer. In 217 cases, the cancer had been spotted in a screening colonoscopy.

At the time of their diagnosis, patients whose cancers had not been spotted via colonoscopy had nearly double the odds of having an invasive tumor compared to those whose tumor had been found through a colonoscopy. They also had more than three times the odds for a metastatic tumor that had spread to other parts of the body, the researchers reported.

During follow-up, patients not diagnosed through colonoscopy screening had higher death rates, higher cancer recurrence rates, shorter survival and shorter lengths of time during which they were cancer-free, the team found.

"Compliance to screening colonoscopy guidelines can play an important role in prolonging longevity, improving quality of life, and reducing health care costs through early detection of colon cancer," Amri and colleagues wrote.

Since they were introduced in 2000, colonoscopy guidelines recommended by the U.S. National Institutes of Health appear to have decreased overall rates of colorectal cancer, the researchers said.

Dr. Maurice Cerulli, program director in the division of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at North Shore-LIJ Health System in New Hyde Park, N.Y., agreed that the adoption of routine colonoscopy has "resulted in a decrease in the number of people dying from colon cancer over the past decade."

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about colorectal cancer screening.

SOURCES: David Carr-Locke, M.D., chief, Division of Digestive Diseases, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York City; Maurice Cerulli, M.D., program director, division of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition, North Shore-LIJ Health System, New Hyde Park, N.Y.: JAMA Surgery, news release, June 19, 2013

 
Today's Interactive Tools

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.