According to a recent study, colorectal cancer screening may be beneficial to male patients, whereas women have no similar benefits.
The study appeared in the British Journal of Surgery. Colorectal cancer is the third most common form of cancer in the world. Every year about 3,000 new cases are diagnosed and about 1,200 patients die of it.
Between 2004 and 2016, an extensive screening program was held in Finland to investigate the potential benefits and shortcomings of national screening for colorectal cancer.
The study is aimed at people aged 60-69 and less than half the age group or just over 300,000 is randomized by the end of 2011. Half of the population surveyed is invited for screening and the other half of the age cohort serves as a control group . Femoral ophthalmic blood tests (FOBT) were used in screening, and patients who tested positive for blood were targeted for colonoscopy.
The first screening-based study shows that there is no significant reduction in mortality, so samples are discontinued after 2016. However, researchers at the University Hospital in Helsinki and the Finnish Cancer Register wanted to check whether screening has offered benefits of patients with colorectal cancer,
"In fact, it has not been established that there are no cancer prognosis that affects overall mortality, but they can still be useful in other ways." We wanted to investigate if patients could avoid more intensive treatments if they were involved in colorectal cancer screening, "said Dr. Laura Koscenowo.
The study examined the data of approximately 1400 patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer. The results show that among the patients in the screening group, surgical removal of a whole tumor is more successful than in the control group patients and is less likely to require chemotherapy. Patients in the screening group are also less likely to undergo an emergency surgery because of their tumor compared to patients in the control group.
"The control group had 50% more emergency surgery, 40% more incomplete removal of tumors, and 20% more chemotherapy than patients in the screening group," said Adjunctive Professor Ville Sallinen, a gastrointestinal surgeon.
A deeper examination of the results shows that these benefits are particularly prevalent in men. Such benefits are not seen in women.
In addition, the researchers found that screening was most effective in detecting colorectal cancer and found that screening did not benefit cancer patients on the right side, probably because blood flowing from tumors on the right side became so thin, it passes through the colon that gFOBT can no longer detect it.
"In the future, we need to examine whether the different screening techniques could improve the situation of female patients and facilitate the diagnosis of right colorectal cancer," the researchers said.
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