Praise the unloved colonoscopy

Study Offers Evidence That Colonoscopy Reduces Deaths - NYTimes.com: "A new study provides what independent researchers call the best evidence yet that colonoscopy — perhaps the most unloved cancer screening test — prevents deaths. Although many people have assumed colonoscopy must save lives because it is so often recommended, strong evidence has been lacking until now.

In patients tracked for as long as 20 years, the death rate from colorectal cancer was cut by 53 percent in those who had the test and whose doctors removed precancerous growths, known as adenomatous polyps, researchers reported on Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine. The test examines the inside of the intestine with a camera-tipped tube."

'via Blog this'

When my mom survived a cancer operation in her seventies, I was "condemned" to a colonoscopy at five year intervals. That was over 25 years ago. Having not loved these invasive procedures, as one might surmise, I can at least be happy that the occasional polyp removals performed were timely and efficacious. Today's research is hampered by an unseemly concentration on publishing and competition. It is nice when a study like this gets accomplished.

Charles Sanders Peirce - Thinking in Threes

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