Colon Cancer Screening Needed Less Than Every 5 Years

By Dr. Matthew Watson

Colon Cancer Screening Needed Less Than Every 5 Years - Colon cancer is easily treated if found early enough, but it appears current recommendations for scope screening every 5 years is unnecessarily frequent.

Sigmoidoscopy screening for colon cancer is recommended every five years for people over 50, however a new study found that screening that often may be unnecessary.

Sigmoidoscopy screening allows a doctor to identify polyps, or small growths, in the colon that could turn into cancer. Other colon cancer screening methods include fecal occult blood testing, which identifies blood in the stool, and colonoscopy, which examines the entire colon (sigmoidoscopy only examines the lower part).

While the American Cancer Society recommends that adults over 50 receive sigmoidoscopy screening every five years and a fecal occult blood test annually, some say this may be overly aggressive.

According to experts, it could take up to 15 years for polyps to develop into cancer and it may be that a one-time sigmoidoscopy screening is enough for those at average-risk. Read more...

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