Sigmoidoscopy Reduces Colorectal Cancer Deaths

Fred Bodimer

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX)- Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine find a less invasive screening test for colorectal cancer which reduces deaths from the disease, but is probably not as effective as the traditional colonoscopy.

KMOX Health Editor, Fred Bodimer says local researchers studied 17,000 patients over the past twenty years and found sigmoidoscopy, where a thin, flexible tube-like instrument is used to view the lower colon.

“This screening test reduced overall cancer deaths by 26 percent when compared to no screening,” Bodimer says, “This method requires much less intense preparation and does not require full anesthesia.”

According to the National Cancer Institute’s Dr. Christine Berg, it does not have the same excuses that people use to avoid a colonoscopy.

“No more excuses, folks. Please have screenings,” Berg says.

A traditional colonoscopy uses a longer flexible tube and examines the entire colon. It reduces colorectal cancer deaths by 53 percent, making it the preferred screening method.


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