A large-scale study found limited effectiveness of colonoscopies on cancer death rates, which is potentially lowering the usefulness of the medical practice.
The current United States guidance advises people over the age of 45 to receive colonoscopies for those with a history of colon cancer in their family, and individuals with conditions like Crohn’s disease could get screened soon.
The ones who were told to conduct a colonoscopy found an 18% reduction in colorectal cancer risk within 10 years. The reduction in the risk of death from cancer was too small to be considered significant.
Alternative research found that colonoscopies were associated with significantly higher reductions in cancer and death risks. The results came from the individuals who received colon cancer screening and showed a reduction in colorectal cancer risk of about 31% and a 50% reduction in death rates.
With a reduced rate of colon cancers, researchers plan to follow the cohort for another five years. Updated studies would support colonoscopies. Doctors would continue to do additional research on it.