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"Occasional colonoscopy helps for family history cases: study"


Source: CBC.CA

Published: 25 Oct 2021

Category: Diagnostic Test

Rating: (2½ stars)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

Screening people with a family history of colon cancer appears to help prevent bowel cancer, and most don't need to be screened before age 45, a new study suggests.
Doctors use a colonoscope, a long tube to look inside the bowel for pre-cancerous growths that can be removed before becoming cancerous.

Prof. Peter Sasieni of Cancer Research UK and his team studied the effectiveness of colonoscopy in over 1,600 people with at least one close relative diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

Up to a third of the 34,000 cases of colorectal cancer diagnosed each year in the U.K. occur in those with a family history of the disease, the researchers said.

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The original article can found in the Media Doctor archives.

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 4 of 9
Availability of Test Not Satisfactory
Novelty of Test Satisfactory
Diagnostic Options Satisfactory
Disease Mongering Satisfactory
Evidence Satisfactory
Quantification of Diagnostic Accuracy/Benefits Not Satisfactory
Costs of Testing Not Satisfactory
Harms of Testing Not Satisfactory
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

This report looked at a study of screening for a colon cancer and concludes that for those people with a family history of the disease, screening after the age of 45 can reduce their risk of cancer. While the screening test is generally known to be available, the report failed to explain whether the test is routinely available in Canada or how much it costs.

The article scores well on mentioning alternatives to reducing ones risk of developing colon cancer, such as diets high in fruits and vegetables, and it explains some caveats on which the findings are based. Where it could merit improvement is in the presentation of risks, as it only presents relative risk data. It would be very useful to describe the absolute level of risk in the studied population, to know the rates of potential harm associated with this screening.

No outside information sources were consulted in this report, nor were any potential conflicts of interest highlighted.

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