Two tests may be better than one in bowel cancer screening, finds study

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 31 January 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e783
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

Two sigmoidoscopy tests separated by three to five years detect roughly a third more bowel cancers than does a single test, a new study shows. But whether the benefit of detecting the extra cancers justifies the additional costs and the risks of complications, or whether it reduces mortality by a similar degree, remains unknown.

The NHS in England plans to offer flexible sigmoidoscopy screening for bowel cancer to all people from the age of 55, after a trial showed that a single such test conferred a substantial and lasting benefit. The new results, from …

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