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Lower Risk of Colon Cancer Death with Higher Quality Screening

Increasing the Quality of Colonoscopies Reduces Death Rates without Raising Costs

By identifying and removing small cancers and precancerous polyps called adenomas, screening colonoscopies can decrease the risk of death from colon cancer. But the quality of the actual colonoscopy is important. One way to assess quality is to measure how often these procedures identify pre-cancerous polyps, known as the adenoma detection rate. A new study examined how different adenoma detection rates might affect colon cancer outcomes and cost.

Chyke Doubeni, MD, FRCS, MPH, from the University of Pennsylvania, and co-authors, used clinical information from more than 57 thousand patients who underwent colonoscopy. The data, including adenoma detection rate, were incorporated into a mathematical model known as a microsimulation. The model was used to estimate real life outcomes based on different adenoma detection rates, colon cancer related deaths, and costs of screening.

Click here to read the full study in JAMA, Journal of the American Medical Association.