The Straits Times
Published on Oct 22, 2012

Simpler colon screen may be enough for many women: Study


NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Women younger than 70 have a relatively low risk of abnormal growth in the upper part of the colon - suggesting, US researchers say, that many women can opt for less invasive colon cancer screening.

Most experts recommend that people at average risk of colon cancer start having screening tests at age 50, with three options: a yearly stool test that looks for hidden blood, a test called a sigmoidoscopy every five years and stool testing every three years, or a colonoscopy every 10 years.

But the reality is, though, that colonoscopies - the most invasive, extensive and expensive of the tests - has become the screening method of choice in the United States.

"But it shouldn't be one strategy for everyone," said Dr Thomas Imperiale, a gastroenterologist at Indiana University, who led the study that appeared in the American Journal of Medicine, noting that the idea of colonoscopies keep some people from getting any screening.