United States has recommended screening for colon cancerBMJ 1997; 314 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7094.1624a (Published 31 May 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1624
Why has barium enema been suggested?
- A H Chapman, Consultanta,
- A Blakeborough, Senior registrara
- a Department of Radiology, St James's University Hospital, Leeds LS9 7TF
- b American Gastroenterological Association, Bethesda, MD 20814-3015, USA
Editor—Some readers may have been surprised by the American Gastroenterological Association's decision to include the barium enema in its guidelines for screening for colon cancer,1 especially because in a review in the BMJ two weeks earlier the barium enema hardly rated a mention.2
Why should such a recommendation have been made? Screening has to be affordable, and a barium enema examination costs roughly a third of the cost of a colonoscopy. Safety also has to be considered; the mortality associated with a barium enema is roughly a fifth to a tenth that of that associated …