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Simple Scope Exam Cuts Colon Cancer Deaths

from the Seattle Times

(Associated Press) -- A simple, cheaper exam of just the lower part of the bowel can cut the risk of developing colon cancer or dying of the disease, a large federal study finds.

Many doctors recommend a more complete test--colonoscopy--but many people refuse that costly, unpleasant exam. The new study shows that the simpler test, flexible sigmoidoscopy, can be a good option. Although it may seem similar to having a mammogram on just one breast, experts say that even a partial bowel exam is better than none.

As one put it, "the best test is the one that gets done." The study was published online Monday by the New England Journal of Medicine and was to be presented at a digestive diseases conference in San Diego.

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