Colonoscopies, a widely used method for preventing colorectal cancer in America, are being questioned for their efficacy based on the results of a recent comprehensive trial. Despite being the primary method of screening in the U.S., the study’s results, showing modest reductions in colorectal cancer incidence and mortality, have generated debate among gastroenterologists.
- Colorectal cancer is the second-most deadly cancer, causing over 1 million deaths annually worldwide. In the U.S., colonoscopies have been the go-to method for prevention.
- A new large-scale trial, the Nordic-European Initiative on Colorectal Cancer (NordICC), aimed to measure the efficacy of colonoscopies in reducing colorectal cancer and related deaths.
- The trial’s results indicated an 18% reduction in colorectal cancer incidence, but only a 10% reduction in mortality from the disease—results that many found surprising.
- The results sparked debate, with some suggesting colonoscopies are not cost-effective, while others defended their benefits.
- Alternatives to colonoscopies, like occult blood tests and sigmoidoscopies, have been shown to reduce colorectal cancer mortality by varying percentages.