Colorectal screening nearly halves cancer risk

The research, involving nearly 200,000 people from NSW who were part of the 45 and Up Study, found that people who were screened for colorectal cancer (CRC) reduced their risk of developing the disease by 44% in the next four years compared to those who had not been screened.

The reduced risk was more pronounced for rectal and distal compared to proximal cancers.

Difficulty in detecting precancerous lesions in that region may come down to quality of bowel preparation before procedures, the limited scope of endoscopies in being able to extend all the way up to the colon and FOBT not being able to detect altered blood from lesions located higher up the colon, the authors suggested.

Though not statistically significant, the effect was greater in people who had been screened using endoscopy compared to those who had undergone FOBT. Reductions in CRC risk were about 40% for FOBT and 50% with endoscopic procedures.

Lead author Professor Emily