Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: Dr Schoen and colleagues1 found that among 9317 individuals who had negative
results of a screening sigmoidoscopy, 6 (0.06%) were found to have colorectal
cancer by repeated sigmoidoscopy 3 years later. An absolute risk reduction
of 0.06% means that 1667 individuals would need to undergo repeat 3-year sigmoidoscopy
in order to find 1 case of cancer, assuming none of these cancers would have
been discovered by other less invasive methods of screening or by incidental
Lev I, Lahad A, Ben-Yehuda A. Optimal Intervals and Techniques for Screening Sigmoidoscopy—Reply. JAMA. 2003;290(16):2122–2123. doi:10.1001/jama.290.16.2122-a
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