If blood is found, a colonoscopy is done to look for cancer or remove suspicious growths. For its evaluation of the blood test, a team led by Dr. Aasma Shaukat of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis looked at records from 46,551 participants in the Minnesota Colon Cancer Control Study who were followed for 30 years. People were either screened for fecal blood annually, every two years or not at all. However, the formal screening program only spanned two six-year windows. The researchers had no follow-up information on which patients received subsequent screening with the blood test or a colonoscopy. Nonetheless, the people who received annual screening during those initial periods ultimately saw a 32 percent reduction in their risk of dying from colorectal cancer. With biennial screening, the risk was cut by 22 percent. Screening did not affect the overall risk of dying during that period. In total, 732 of 33,020 deaths over the 30 years were from colorectal cancer. “You would expect to see a decrease in the risk of dying of colon cancer in the first eight to 10 years. The fact that the effect was sustained through 30 years is actually fairly remarkable,” said Shaukat. “It shows that the effect of colon cancer screening is profound,” she said. “The study of fecal occult blood testing provides the longest follow-up of any colorectal cancer screening study to date – an impressive 30 years – and shows that the benefits of screening by this method endure for the lifetime of the patient,” Enders told Reuters Health in an email.
Colon cancer screening saves lives, but more need to do it
He has stage 3C cancer, which was through the wall of the colon, with malignant lymph nodes, and has spread to the mesenteric area. I sincerely hope that “MD” does not stand for medical doctor, because you might be the primary care doctor who was just giving my husband anti-spasmodic drugs for his “irritable bowel syndrome.” July 6, 2011 at 22:51 | Report abuse | Margaret And what happens if they find blood? Is the doctor going to volunteer to go to the next procedure? If you don’t have the money what then? Pray and eat a lot of fiber? July 7, 2011 at 02:13 | Report abuse | Chetan No mention of comparison for FOBT (Fecal Occult Blood Test) Vs. Colonoscopy in reducing mortality. I understand that Colonoscopy is better than FOBT but it is interesting to see how much difference colonoscopy does make ! July 5, 2011 at 21:39 | Report abuse | Reply JM When you have no personal insurance, and your job offers no inurance, and you are 62, fat chance on being able to afford a colonoscopy. Scare us all you want, and we understand, but until there is a national health care coverage, or a way to get truly affordable colonoscopies, many will die because of NO coverage. Amen…. July 5, 2011 at 21:51 | Report abuse | Reply Elizabeth Which is why most Americans (over 70 percent) wanted universal health care not tied to their job, but some people (probably those who do not want new business start-ups) wanted health insurance to remain the way it has been, and called anything else socialist or communist. Think people. The advertising budget for those insurance companies is astronomical. July 6, 2011 at 22:54 | Report abuse | beth I certainly understand the importance of have a colonscopy screening…since i lost my health insurance I cannot afford one…does anyone know of any organzation that i might get help from to assist me in paying for one.