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A single colon cancer test between the ages of 55 and 64 may significantly reduce a person's chances of developing the disease and dying from it, according to a new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Regular cancer testing is known to reduce a person's risk significantly. However, it is still unclear exactly how often an individual should be screened and at what ages. The new findings could help develop accurate and complete guidelines.
For the study, researchers from the University of Minnesota assigned more than 34,000 individuals between the ages of 55 and 64 to either receive a sigmoidoscopy or no testing. After tracking each participant's health for over ten years, the researchers found that those who had the procedure were 18 percent less likely to develop colon cancer and 22 percent less likely to die from it.
"Flexible sigmoidoscopy screening offered just once represents a safe and effective method for colorectal cancer screening and ensures a long lasting reduction of CRC risk," the researchers wrote in their report.
A sigmoidoscopy is considered such a powerful cancer-fighting tool because it can remove suspicious growths while assessing future risk.
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