Colonoscopy significantly reduces mortality from colorectal cancer in Veterans Affairs study

March 12, 2018, American College of Physicians

Colonoscopy was associated with a 61 percent reduction in colorectal cancer mortality among veterans receiving care through the Veterans Affairs (VA) health system. The reduction was observed for both left- and right-sided colorectal cancer, although the association was weaker for right-sided cancer (46 percent versus 72 percent reduction). The findings are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Colonoscopy is widely used in the VA health care system, where it is endorsed as a primary colorectal cancer screening option for average-risk aged 50 and older. Despite its increased use, it is not known whether decreases colorectal cancer mortality among veterans and whether the effect varies based on the anatomical location of colorectal cancer.

A team of researchers from the VA Medical Centers in Indianapolis and White River Junction (affiliated with Indiana University School of Medicine and Geisel School of Medicine in Dartmouth) reviewed VA-Medicare administrative data, and identified 4,964 case patients who were diagnosed with colorectal cancer between 2002 and 2008 and died of the disease by the end of 2010. Case patients were matched to 4 control patients (n = 19,856) without prior diagnosis of colorectal cancer. Exposure to colonoscopy was determined from 1997 to 6 months before colorectal cancer diagnosis in case patients and to a corresponding date in control patients. Subgroup analysis was performed for patients who had undergone screening colonoscopy.

The researchers found that the patients who died of colorectal cancer were significantly less likely to have undergone any colonoscopy. Colonoscopy was associated with reduced mortality for left-sided cancer and right-sided cancer, although the reduction was smaller for right-sided . The authors suggest that reducing variability in colonoscopy effectiveness, particularly against right-sided , is critical for effective disease prevention.

Explore further: Adding surveillance to FIT screening cuts CRC mortality

More information: Annals of Internal Medicine (2018). http://annals.org/aim/article/doi/10.7326/M17-0723

Related Stories

Adding surveillance to FIT screening cuts CRC mortality

October 3, 2017
(HealthDay)—Adding surveillance to fecal immunochemical test (FIT) screening reduces colorectal cancer (CRC) mortality and increases colonoscopy demand, according to a study published online Oct. 2 in the Annals of Internal ...

Support for fecal testing in familial colorectal cancer screening

October 29, 2014
Fecal immunochemical tests (FIT) may be as effective as colonoscopies when it comes to detecting colorectal cancer among first-degree relatives of patients with colorectal cancer, according to a new study in Gastroenterology, ...

Cancers caught during screening colonoscopy are more survivable

July 13, 2015
Patients whose colorectal cancer (CRC) is detected during a screening colonoscopy are likely to survive longer than those who wait until they have symptoms before having the test, according to a study in the July issue of ...

Patients with positive fecal screening test, sooner is better for colonoscopy

April 25, 2017
The risk of colorectal cancer increased significantly when colonoscopy was delayed by more than nine months following a positive fecal screening test, according to a large Kaiser Permanente study published today in the Journal ...

Recommended for you

Pushing closer to a new cancer-fighting strategy

December 11, 2018
A molecular pathway that's frequently mutated in many different forms of cancer becomes active when cells push parts of their membranes outward into bulging protrusions, Johns Hopkins researchers report in a new study. The ...

Scientists have identified and modelled a distinct biology for paediatric AML

December 11, 2018
Scientists have identified and modelled a distinct biology for paediatric acute myeloid leukaemia, one of the major causes of death in children.

HER2 mutations can cause treatment resistance in metastatic ER-positive breast cancer

December 11, 2018
Metastatic breast cancers treated with hormone therapy can become treatment-resistant when they acquire mutations in the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) that were not present in the original tumor, reports ...

Loss of two genes drives a deadly form of colorectal cancer, reveals a potential treatment

December 11, 2018
Colorectal cancers arise from earlier growths, called polyps, found on the inner surface of the colon. Scientists are now learning that polyps use two distinct molecular pathways as they progress to cancer, called the "conventional" ...

Taking uncertainty out of cancer prognosis

December 11, 2018
A cancer diagnosis tells you that you have cancer, but how that cancer will progress is a terrifying uncertainty for most patients. Researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have now identified a specific class ...

Successful anti-PD-1 therapy requires interaction between CD8+ T cells and dendritic cells

December 11, 2018
A team led by a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigator has found that successful cancer immunotherapy targeting the PD-1 molecule requires interaction between cytotoxic CD8+ T cells, which have been considered ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.