October 24th, 2022

You may have heard about a new study regarding the efficacy of colonoscopy in detecting and preventing colon cancer deaths in humans. As always the devil is in the details are appropriately pointed out by Dr. Peter Attia in his excellent blog.

He states in his blog: "The results mentioned above compare those who did not undergo colonoscopy with those who were invited to have the procedure – not with those who necessarily did. Indeed, the study authors report that only 42% of participants in the invited group actually followed through with screening.

When restricting their analysis to this protocol-adherent sub-group (i.e., conducting a “per-protocol” analysis), the investigators found much larger disparities between groups.
Relative to the usual-care group, the invited group demonstrated significantly lower risk of both CRC diagnosis (1.22% incidence in usual-care vs. 0.84% in invited) and CRC mortality (0.30% vs. 0.15%) at 10 years follow-up." Peter Attia Blog

So, the take home point is this: on an individual basis, early detection of a cancer is the key to a good outcome and a colonoscopy is the key way to find a cancerous lesion before it metastasizes and takes you out.

 Dr. M