Colonoscopies save lives, but study finds room for improvement

May 16, 2018

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer in Canada. Colonoscopy can reduce the risks of CRC and CRC-related death through early detection and treatment of pre-cancerous growth. A new study led by Dr. Sanjay Murthy found that while colonoscopies identify most cases of CRC, a cancer was missed or not removed properly in about eight percent of people between the ages of 50 and 74 who underwent the procedure in Ontario. Furthermore, this rate did not improve over a 15-year period from 1996 to 2010, despite the introduction of many quality improvement measures and technological refinements to colonoscopy practice. Dr. Murthy and his colleagues are now investigating other approaches to improve colonoscopy quality. The paper is published in Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

Authors: Sanjay Murthy, Paul James, Alaa Rostom, Catherine Dubé, Robin Ducharme, Eric Benchimol, Jill Tinmouth.

Supporters: This study was funded by The University of Ottawa’s Department of Medicine and was further made possible because of generous donations to The Ottawa Hospital for Research to Improve Patient Care. The researchers have also received support from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences.

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