DETROIT (WWJ) – Yale researchers estimate screenings prevented half-a-million cases of colorectal cancer in the U.S. over the last 33 years.

They also found that the incidence of early-stage cancers dropped from 77 to 67 cases per 100,000 people over the age of 50, during a period where cancer screening increased from nearly 35 percent to 66 percent.

Unlike other kinds are screenings, colonoscopy offers doctors the opportunity to actual stop the disease before it starts, by snipping out pre-cancerous polyps before they actually develop into cancer.

The study author says the findings are particularly significant in light of recent controversy surrounding mammography screening for breast cancer, and suggestions that it may result in false positive diagnoses and over-treatment.

The study appears in the journal Cancer.


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