By Andrew M. Seaman
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People who are diagnosed with colon cancer after routine colonoscopies tend to have better outcomes and less advanced cancers than people diagnosed based on symptoms, says a new study.
Those who were diagnosed with colon cancer as a result of symptoms were three times more likely to die during the study than the patients diagnosed after colonoscopy screenings, researchers found.
"It's in line with its current use. It shows that colonoscopy appears to be beneficial in reducing deaths in those diagnosed with colorectal cancer," said Dr. Chyke Doubeni, who studies colonoscopy use but wasn't involved in the new research.
Colon cancer is the third most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., according to the government-backed U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), which recommends that people between ages 50 and 75 get screened by colonoscopy every ten years.