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Scoping Out Cancer

发布者: lorespirit | 发布时间: 2012-9-12 11:53| 查看数: 1002| 评论数: 0|

It's not likely to make anyone's bucket list, but a colonoscopy could save you from needing to do

everything on that list anytime soon. A new study confirms that regular colonoscopic screening, which

involves inserting a scope through the rectum and into the intestines to detect and sometimes remove

growths, can lower the risk of colon cancer by 77%. That number changes depending on the exact site of

tumors: risk is reduced just 56% if the growth is on the right side of the intestines (which is harder to

reach with the scope), but that's still a big improvement over people who did not get routine screenings.

Common wisdom calls for a colonoscopy once every 10 years for anyone over age 50, but that advice

has been questioned by recent studies suggesting that the invasive and relatively expensive procedure

does not find more tumors than less expensive tests that analyze fecal blood or use a shorter scope. The

reason for the varying results may be operator skill; proper preparation and thorough execution of the test

could improve its effectiveness.

For patients, it may be worth seeking out such skilled physicians, since colonoscopy is one of the few

screening tools that can both detect precancerous growths and remove them, preventing cancer in a

single procedure.

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