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Watch:  A New Study Finds Colonoscopies Lowers CRC Risk and Death, but Not by Much

A study was conducted by the Nordic-European Initiative on Colorectal Cancer (NordICC) with over 85,000 participants between the ages of 55 and 64. People from Poland, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, and other nations were included in the study sample, which was carried out from 2009 to 2014.

The findings were released concurrently in The New England Journal of Medicine and presented today at the United European Gastroenterology (UEG) Week 2022 United European Gastroenterology (UEG) 2022 meeting.

The study from Europe found that the benefits of regular colonoscopies in helping reduce the risk of colorectal cancer and death may have been overestimated due to gaps in evidence. The study stated that these findings diverge from earlier predictions that linked colonoscopies with a 40–69% reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer and a 29–88% reduction in the risk of mortality.

Colonoscopies were offered to trial participants at random, or they received regular medical treatment without screening. Over a 10-year period, it was discovered that people who were asked to get colonoscopies had an 18% lower risk of developing colorectal cancer. Researchers discovered that the reduction in the probability of mortality from colorectal cancer in this same group was “not substantial.”

The study’s findings give an indication of the impact of screening colonoscopies in the general community because they were intended to be really population-based and to mirror national colorectal cancer screening programs.

On the basis of intention-to-screen, the main result was chosen. Comparing those who received standard treatment to everyone who was invited to have a colonoscopy for screening (ie, received no invitation or screening). The interim 10-year colorectal cancer risk was presented at UEG 2022 and found to be 0.98%, as opposed to 1.20%. With respect to colonoscopy invitees, this translates to an 18% risk decrease (risk ratio, 0.82; 95% CI: 0.70 – 0.93). 259 colorectal cancer cases were diagnosed over the study period in the invited group compared to 622 in the usual-care group.

In the invited group, the probability of dying from colorectal cancer was 0.28%, compared to the usual care group’s 0.31% (risk ratio, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.64-1.16). Both the invited group and the usual-care group experienced identical rates of death from any cause, which were 11.03% and 11.04%, respectively (risk ratio, 0.99; 95% CI: 0.96 – 1.04).

According to the study’s findings, more high-quality colonoscopies should still lead to higher declines in colorectal malignancies and deaths associated with them.

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