August 25, 2014 -Sigmoidoscopy


Anchor lead: Sigmoidoscopy definitely helps reduce colorectal cancer deaths, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Flexible sigmoidscopy, where a much smaller and more accessible part of the large intestine is examined compared to colonoscopy, has a very positive impact on reducing both colorectal cancer and death from the disease, a recent large study reports.  Patrick Okolo, a colorectal cancer expert at Johns Hopkins, explains the data.

Okolo:  This is the highest level of evidence, this is a randomized clinical trial, and in this randomized clinical trial, multiple patients representing patients and years of clinical experience and years of exposure, were randomized to flexible sigmoidoscopy, with and without occult blood testing.  Things that we thought that we’d left behind in America.  The results were quite interesting.  It showed an over 25% reduction in death from colorectal cancer.   :25

The technique also doesn’t require sedation although preparation of the large intestine just as for colonoscopy is still necessary.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.