Report: Colonscopies Best Method of Colorectal Cancer Screening

NEW YORK-A new report from a team of researchers at the Veterans Health Services Research and Development in Ann Arbor, Mich, suggests colonoscopies performed at ages 50 and 60 are the most efficacious screening method for colorectal cancer.

Sandeep Vijan, MD, headed research published in the American Journal of Medicine in December. Vijan and his team created a Markov cost-effectiveness model using information from different colonoscopic screening studies, the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registry, and the National Center for Health Statistics.

Their study shows that 75% of cancers are created from polyps. Additionally, compliance with different screening methods ranged between 50-75%. Compared with those who did not screen for colorectal cancers, the cost-effectiveness ration of screening strategies was reported at $20,000 per life-year gained-without factoring in compliance levels.

Vijan found that fecal occult blood testing beginning at age 50 with flexible sigmoidoscopy with a 100% compliance was more effective, but more costly than the recommended colonoscopies.

Opponents on the other end of the issue argue patients should follow the American Cancer Society's recommendation of following a screening method of personal preference.

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