Screening Examinations Improve Bowel Cancer Mortality Rate

Early detection found to improve survival in bowel cancer.

Over the last decade, the rate of new bowel cancer cases in Austria dropped by approximately 20%, while the associated mortality rate fell by nearly 30%.

This decreasing trend is largely due to improvements in screening examinations, according to a study published in Endoscopy.

For the study, which is part of a Quality Assurance project, the investigators analyzed 159,246 screening colonoscopies between 2007 and 2014 to evaluate the quality of the procedures.

Although there was a significant increase in adenomas during the observation period, the results of the study showed a significant drop in the rate of advanced changes.

“The results confirm that there has been a clear improvement in the quality of screening examinations,” investigator Monika Ferlitsch said in a press release. “We discover changes earlier and more frequently, thus preventing tumors from developing or metastasizing.”

The investigative team is also involved in other quality assurance projects, according to the press release. Ferlitsch was commissioned by the European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy to compile clinical guidelines for the removal of colorectal polyps and for endoscopic mucosal resection.

“If polyps are removed during screening colonoscopy in compliance with the Guidelines, there is a much greater probability that they will be removed completely,” Ferlitsch said. “This means that the polyp cannot grow again and so cannot develop into bowel cancer.”

The radical removal of polyps helps reduce the risk of an interval carcinoma forming, according to the study.