AGA: Controversial colonoscopy study findings not necessarily applicable to U.S.

The American Gastroenterological Association has released a statement regarding the controversial study in The New England Journal of Medicine saying its conclusions are not necessarily applicable to colorectal cancer screening in the U.S.

The study found the risk reduction for those who were invited to receive a colonoscopy screening compared those who did not to be just 18 percent — but those who actually underwent the procedure saw larger reductions. Read more about the study here.

Three key statements about the study from David Lieberman, MD, chair of the AGA's Colorectal Cancer Task Force:

Note: These statements come from an Oct. 11 email from the American Gastroenterological Association shared with Becker's.

1. The study shows that colonoscopy screening is effective when completed. Just 42 percent of patients randomized to colonoscopy completed the screening. Those who received the colonoscopy saw a 31 percent decrease in colorectal cancer prevention and a 50 percent decrease in mortality.

2. Quality matters. Several endoscopists had adverse drug reactions below the 25 percent benchmark, which are associated with a higher risk of colorectal cancer post-colonoscopy.

3. The benefits of colonoscopy take time. The detection and removal of polyps prevent future cancers.

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