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In addition, results from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer (PLCO) screening trial showed that study participants in the flexible sigmoidoscopy group had a 26% reduction in overall colorectal cancer mortality and a 50% reduction in mortality related to distal colorectal cancer, compared with the usualcare group.
Flexible sigmoidoscopy, a screening test for colorectal cancer that is less invasive and has fewer side effects than colonoscopy, is effective in reducing the rates of new cases and deaths due to colorectal cancer, according to research sponsored by the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health.
Nick Phillips of Bowel Cancer Wales, who has campaigned for flexible sigmoidoscopy - also known as flexi-sig - said: "This can reduce both the incidence rate of bowel cancer and fatalities - we shouldn't have to chase after these developments in screening.
In their recommendations on structural screening tests, the task force concluded that colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy (with insertion to 40 cm or to the splenic flexure), double-contrast barium enema, and computed tomographic colonography (also called virtual colonoscopy) would all be acceptable for individuals at average risk.
Flexible sigmoidoscopy (flex-sig): By passing a slender, lighted tube into the lower part of the colon through the rectum, the gastroenterologist views the rectum and about half of the colon for signs of polyps or cancer.
If you are at average risk of colorectal cancer, the American Cancer Society recommends that all women and men over the age of 50 undergo one of the following: An annual fecal occult blood test A flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years An annual fecal occult blood test (FOBT) or fecal immunochemical test (FIT) and a flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years (Of these first three options, the combination of FOBT or FIT every year plus flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years is preferable.
In contrast, doctors recommend that flexible sigmoidoscopy, which uses a similar method to check a smaller portion of the colon, be repeated every 5 years.
And so this was the beginning of the Biddlestone Health Centre's nurse-led flexible sigmoidoscopy clinic, in Heaton, Newcastle.