What is the effect of colonoscopy on colon cancer mortality?

Updated: Apr 15, 2020
  • Author: Tomislav Dragovich, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: N Joseph Espat, MD, MS, FACS  more...
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A case-control study using national Veterans Affairs–Medicare data concluded that colonoscopy was associated with significant reductions in colorectal cancer mortality in veterans. Mortality benefit was greater for left-sided cancer than right-sided cancer. [26]

Case patients (n= 4964) were veterans aged 52 years or older who were diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2002 to 2008 and died of the disease by the end of 2010. Case patients were matched to four control patients (n= 9,856) without prior colorectal cancer. Risk of mortality from left-sided cancer was reduced in those who had undergone colonoscopy (odds ratio [OR], 0.28 [CI, 0.24 to 0.32]), as was risk for mortality from right-sided cancer (OR, 0.54 [CI, 0.47 to 0.63]). [26]

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