Colon Cancer Screening and Reduced Mortality: Are They Related?
The effectiveness of colon cancer screening has been revealed by investigating the link between pre-diagnostic colonoscopy and colorectal deaths, according to a new study. Colorectal cancer takes a long duration of time to develop in the body and this is why early detection through screening can prevent pre-cancerous polyps from becoming colorectal cancer.
Colorectal cancer screening has numerous advantages, which are well known. Plenty of studies have proven that colorectal cancer screening has shown a marked decrease in cases of deaths caused by colorectal cancer. However, colorectal cancer is the second most notorious cause of cancer-related deaths in North America. Effort needs to be made to decrease the number of deaths linked to colorectal cancer.
Early screening called a pre-diagnostic colonoscopy, inspects for pre-cancerous polyps by inserting a narrow, long and flexible tube with a camera at the tip into the large intestine. Diagnostic colonoscopy is done when a patient shows gastrointestinal problems, for example abdominal pain and rectal bleeding.
University of South Australia researchers have analysed data to find out the link between pre- diagnostic colonoscopy and patient survival rates. This data has been published in BMC Cancer and reveals that pre- diagnostic colonoscopy does increase chances of early detection and therefore cancer diagnosis within a year and a half.
Pre- diagnostic colonoscopy saw a 17% decrease in colorectal cancer mortality. Having two a year decreased this by 27%, whereas three or more by 45%. Conclusively, the mortality rate has declined from 17% to 45%!
This study proves that prevention is better than cure, as there is a higher chance of living if pre- diagnostic colonoscopy is done before the development of cancer symptoms. Therefore, there is need for screening every two years if you are above 50 years.
There is need for more people to participate in colorectal cancer screening, before they miss out on a chance to detect colon cancer early.
In conclusion, if these procedures are done a little over one year earlier from the first colonoscopy until diagnosis, then the survival rate is higher. Effort needs to be made to encourage more people to go for their first colonoscopy before it is too late.