"In our opinion, we now have published important and valuable baseline data on the use of flexible sigmoidoscopy within a large and randomized group of participants," said Joel Weissfeld, M.D., M.P.H, lead author of the study and associate professor of epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. "The findings reveal trends and patterns by gender and age that one may expect to see in a flexible sigmoidoscopy intervention targeting the general U.S. population," added Dr. Weissfeld, who also is co-leader of the cancer epidemiology, prevention and control program at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.
During flexible sigmoidoscopy (FSG), a doctor uses a lighted scope to examine the inside of the large intestine from the rectum through the descending colon, where most colon polyps develop.
The study enrolled 154,942 men and women 55 to 74 years of age who had no prior history of prostate, lung, colorectal or ovarian cancers from November 1993 to July 2001. Study participants were randomly assigned to either a control group that did not receive FSG or to an intervention group that received FSG. Of those assigned to the intervention group, 83.5 percent (64,658) agreed to undergo an initial FSG examination. Among the individuals who underwent screening, 23.4 percent (15,150) had at least one polyp or mass and 74.2 percent of these individuals received follow-up lower endoscopic
Contact: Clare Collins
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center