Colorectal cancer screening: An overview of available methods and current recommendations

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6 Scopus citations


Backgound. Screening asymptomatic persons for colorectal cancer may decrease the incidence and mortality of this disease. Methods. The MEDLINE database was used to identify articles addressing the rationale for colorectal cancer screening, methods used and their effectiveness, and current recommendations. Results. Methods of screening for colorectal cancer include flexible sigmoidoscopy, fecal occult blood tests, barium enema, and colonoscopy. The method used and the frequency of screening are determined by assessing an individual's risk of having colorectal cancer. Conclusions. Colorectal cancer is a common malignancy in the United States, is curable when detected at an early stage, and is potentially preventable. The acceptance of colorectal cancer screening by patients and physicians has been suboptimal. While there remains little debate about the potential for screening to reduce mortality from colorectal cancer, debate continues about the cost-effectiveness of colorectal cancer screening when applied to the general population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-265
Number of pages8
JournalSouthern medical journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1999

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