Procedure setting, technique and cost are key for effective colorectal cancer screening

CHICAGO, IL (May 17, 2005) Current guidelines recommend that anyone over the age of 50 years be screened for colorectal cancer (CRC) using one of the standard available technologies, including colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, air contrast barium enema and fecal occult blood testing. Research presented today at Digestive Disease Week 2005 (DDW) evaluates the accuracy rates and cost benefits of various screening procedures. DDW is the largest international gathering of physicians, researchers and academics in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

"Colorectal cancer screening is essential in the diagnosis and prevention of colon cancer, a common and often preventable cancer," said Robert Bresalier, M.D., of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. "Finding screening procedures that are not only accurate, but cost effective will help ensure proper patient diagnosis while alleviating stress on patient and physician pocketbooks."

Cost Effectiveness Of Imaging Tests and Surveillance Strategies for Colorectal Cancer (Abstract 91)

When screening for colorectal cancer, one of the primary concerns is accuracy. But with multiple new technological options available to patients today, cost effectiveness is also an important consideration. In this study by researchers at Duke University, types of colon screening procedures were compared for both accuracy and cost.

In a previous trial, computed tomographic colonography (CTC) was tested as a potential alternative to colonoscopy for patients at risk for colorectal cancer, evaluating the sensitivity of air contrast barium enema (ACBE), CTC and colonoscopy. For this study, the team evaluated the cost effectiveness of the three imaging tests as potential monitoring strategies in this population.

The researchers developed a model to evaluate the costs and health benefits for investigation of the colon. Patients were initially


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