Cancer caught early with colonoscopies

Dec 25, 2006

Medicare's extension of coverage for colonoscopies led to a significant increase in the number of cancers caught early, a U.S. study finds.

Researchers at the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program and Yale Medical School report the decision to extend coverage beyond high-risk groups lead to an increase in the number of procedures performed annually per 100,000 population, from 285 in 1992 to 1,919 from 2001, onward.

In a study published in the Dec. 20 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the researchers report the increased screenings led to a significant increase in the number of early-stage cancers found on the right side of the colon, but no comparable increase in the number of cancers found on the left side or in more distal parts, the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times reported.

The study compared patients in HMOs to those with Medicare fee-for-service coverage. Similar results did not materialize in the HMO population, leading researchers to believe the difference was Medicare's decision to cover the procedure.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: New drug target can break down cancer's barrier against treatment

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Physicists discuss quantum pigeonhole principle

12 hours ago

The pigeonhole principle: "If you put three pigeons in two pigeonholes at least two of the pigeons end up in the same hole." So where's the argument? Physicists say there is an important argument. While the ...

Giant crater in Russia's far north sparks mystery

14 hours ago

A vast crater discovered in a remote region of Siberia known to locals as "the end of the world" is causing a sensation in Russia, with a group of scientists being sent to investigate.

NASA Mars spacecraft prepare for close comet flyby

14 hours ago

NASA is taking steps to protect its Mars orbiters, while preserving opportunities to gather valuable scientific data, as Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring heads toward a close flyby of Mars on Oct. 19.

Recommended for you

Study shows epigenetic changes can drive cancer

Jul 26, 2014

Cancer has long been thought to be primarily a genetic disease, but in recent decades scientists have come to believe that epigenetic changes – which don't change the DNA sequence but how it is 'read' – also play a role ...

User comments : 0