August 26, 2014 – Which Test?
Anchor lead: Should you have a sigmoidoscopy rather than a colonoscopy? Elizabeth Tracey reports
There’s no question that examination of the large intestine, either using colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy, reduces both the incidence of and death relative to colon cancer. Now a very large, prospective study has shown that sigmoidoscopy may reduce deaths by 25%, so should you simply opt for this technique rather that the more exhaustive colonoscopy? Patrick Okolo, a colon cancer expert at Johns Hopkins, offers his opinion.
Okolo: We clearly know that this is not a waste of your time, and that if you cannot get a colonoscopy, at least get a flexible sigmoidoscopy and you get significant bang for your buck. The question still remains as to whether colonoscopy is superior to flexible sigmoidoscopy in an American population. Sigmoidoscopy is still a significant tool in reducing both colorectal cancer and colorectal cancer related death. :25
Okolo recommends talking with your physician about the options. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.