OAK BROOK, Ill.—A study from researchers in Switzerland found that colonoscopy with polypectomy significantly reduces colorectal cancer incidence and colorectal cancer-related death in the general population.
A total of 12 colorectal cancer cases were identified in the screening group of 1,912 patients and 213 cases of colorectal cancer were found in the non-screened group of 20,774 patients. One of the 12 persons of the screened individuals with a colorectal cancer and 51 of the 213 persons of the non-screened individuals with a colorectal cancer died because of their cancers. The study appears in the July issue of GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE).
Colorectal cancer (CRC) has a very high incidence in Switzerland as well as in other European countries and is the second most frequent cause of cancer-related deaths in Europe. It is detected in approximately 413,000 people in Europe every year, half of whom die because of the disease. Therefore a need exists for efficient strategies for prevention and early detection of CRC. Colonoscopy with the possibility of an immediate polypectomy is a recommended and preferred screening method because polyps (growths in the colon) can turn into cancer over the course of years to decades. Removing polyps during a colonoscopy prevents that polyp from becoming cancerous.
“In contrast to earlier CRC screening studies that used colonoscopy, this population-based closed cohort observational study aimed to obtain complete and comparable data on CRC incidence and CRC-related mortality after a single screening colonoscopy compared with no screening, while taking into account the potential differences in risk profiles between the screened and non-screened participants," said study lead author Urs A. Marbet, Cantonal Hospital of Uri, Altdorf, Switzerland. “We found that colorectal cancer screening by colonoscopy markedly reduces not only the incidence of colorectal cancer, but also cancer-related death. We are unaware of any other long-term prospective study assessing the role of colonoscopy screening for the reduction of colorectal cancer incidence and mortality in a well-defined, population-based setting under real-life conditions."