Screening colonoscopy detects more colon cancers in males
Colonoscopy is an accepted method of screeing for colon cancer. The Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial offers a unique opportunity to examine the effectiveness of screening flexible sigmoidoscopy in a large, diverse population. Results from the initial screening and 12 months of follow-up were comparable to other studies.
Of 77,465 subjects randomized to the screening arm, 64,658 (83 percent) received the baseline flexible sigmoidoscopy exam. A total of 18 percent of women and 28 percent of men were found to have a positive screen (i.e., a lesion or mass reported). The detection rate of colorectal cancer in subjects undergoing screening was 1.8 per 1,000 in women and 3.8 per 1,000 in men, while the detection rate for advanced adenomas (pre-cancerous polyps) was 23 per 1,000 in women and 43 per 1,000 in men. Because of the large size of the study population, the broad geographic representation, and the follow-up criteria, the results of the PLCO trial will offer a benchmark for screening flexible sigmoidoscopy in the United States.
Reference: Weissfeld JL, Schoen RE, et al. "Flexible Sigmoidoscopy in the PLCO Cancer Screening Trial: Results from the Baseline Screening Examination of a Randomized Trial." Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 97, No. 13. July 6, 2005.