Oct, 2022 - By WMR
American people have been advised to obtain colonoscopies starting in middle age in order to avoid colon cancer for more than 20 years.
However, the "gold standard" for research studies has never been satisfied by colonoscopy support, making it difficult to determine the screening's actual value in avoiding cancer and saving lives.
A recent study conducted in European nations where colonoscopies were not commonly available seems to indicate that the operation may not be as beneficial as many had thought. Health professionals caution against reading the study's results incorrectly, though.
Dr. Chris Manz, a gastrointestinal oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, said: "There are a lot of intricacies here, so it's fair that there are various interpretations from different people."
The data gives the impression that colonoscopies had minimal impact on the rates of colon cancer mortality and discovery, but that isn't the complete picture.
More than 84,000 adults from Poland, Sweden, and Norway who were between the ages of 55 and 64 participated in the study. After that, they were monitored for ten years to determine if anyone had colon cancer.
Compared to the roughly 56,300 individuals who received "usual care" but did not have a colonoscopy, just 42% of the 28,220 participants in the "invited" group underwent the operation.
Ten years later, when the researchers checked, 259 members of the invited group and 622 members of the twice-as-large usual care group had colon cancer. The two groups' mortality rates were quite similar.
But if every person who was randomly allocated to a screening had actually gone through it, the probability of getting colon cancer and dying from it would have been reduced by 50%.
Experts claim that because more than half of the "invited" group declined the offer to get checked, the research actually tells more about the inclination to get examined than it does about the actual procedure.