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Lab tests for colon cancer can reduce the mortality rate associated with the disease by half, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The findings confirm the benefits of testing and early intervention.
The Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center researchers who conducted the study focused their attention on colonoscopies. This procedure is considered beneficial because doctors can examine a patient's colon for polyps, which are considered risk factors for colon cancer, and at the same time remove these growths.
In the current study, researchers tracked the health of more than 2,600 individuals who had polyps removed from their colons at some point during a 15-year period. Over the course of the study, the researchers observed a 53 percent reduction in expected colon cancer death rates among individuals who had received colonoscopies.
The findings may not be groundbreaking in terms of proving the value of a new procedure. However, they do confirm the benefits of this tried and true test. Furthermore, the study quantifies the benefits of the lab test.
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