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September 11, 1995

Endoscopic Polypectomy Reduces Mortality From Colorectal Cancer

Author Affiliations

Department of Medicine Sections of Gastroenterology and Hematology-Oncology Tucson Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Arizona Health Sciences Center The University of Arizona 1501 N Campbell Ave Tucson, AZ 85724

Arch Intern Med. 1995;155(16):1711-1712. doi:10.1001/archinte.1995.00430160022003

COLORECTAL CANCER is the second most common malignant tumor in the United States, accounting for approximately 57 000 deaths per year.1 From a public health perspective, preventive measures effective in improving survival are essential. The article by Müller and Sonnenberg in this issue of the Archives2 adds one more piece of information to the growing evidence that removal of polyps results in a reduction in the death rate from colorectal cancer. In the late 1970s, Gilbertson and Nelms3 reported that removal of polyps at the time of rigid sigmoidoscopy resulted in lower than expected development of rectosigmoid cancer. Although this study had several limitations, the conclusions seem to be supported by subsequent reports. Selby et al4 demonstrated that screening sigmoidoscopy (rigid) can reduce mortality from cancer of the rectum and distal colon. This reduction was seen for an interval of 10 years after screening sigmoidoscopy. Unfortunately,