(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – Colonoscopy with polypectomy significantly reduces the incidence and mortality of colorectal cancer (CRC), according to a team of Swiss researchers. This conclusion is based on a study entitled “Colonoscopy screening markedly reduces the occurrence of colon carcinomas and carcinoma-related death: a closed cohort study,” which was published in the July issue of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

The investigators aimed to demonstrate a reduction in incidence and mortality from CRC in a population-based setting. Using a closed cohort design with data collected prospectively, the investigators compared the incidence and mortality of CRC among patients screened by colonoscopy (n=1,912) to 20,774 control patients. The screening period was 1 year, with a follow-up period of 6 years. Data collected during the screening and follow up period included tumor characteristics, risk/protective factors, age, sex, general health, history of CRC in a first-degree relative, smoking status, body mass index, frequency of sports activity, eating habits, and patients’ professions.

The investigators reported the following results. “Overall cancer incidence was significantly lower in the screened group compared with the non-screened group (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 0.31; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.16–0.59; P<.001),” they wrote. “Colon cancer–associated mortality also was clearly lower (adjusted OR 0.12; 95% CI, 0.01–0.93; P=.04).” Additionally, the investigators reported that the main risk factors for CRC development were lifestyle, smoking, body mass index, and family history, all of which were similar in both groups.

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Based on these results, the investigators concluded: “Colonoscopy with polypectomy significantly reduces CRC incidence and cancer-related mortality in the general population.”