Sigmoidoscopy is best for bowel screens

Flexible sigmoidoscopy is the most cost-effective bowel cancer screening strategy and should be included in the national bowel cancer-screening programme, say UK researchers.

Current bowel screening pilot schemes that target individuals aged 58–69 years use faecal occult blood testing in conjunction with further investigation by colonoscopy.  

Researchers produced a colorectal cancer-screening model to inform the DoH’s policy on bowel cancer screening.  

They looked at the costs, effects and resource impact of five different screening options.  

They found screening using flexible sigmoidoscopy, with or without faecal occult blood testing, might be more cost-effective  and produce benefits compared with a policy of no screening.  

However, the researchers warn that the introduction of any screening option would require significant investment.

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