A Study Comparing Colorectal Cancer Screening Techniques

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Abstract

Colorectal cancer is in the top 3 of both diagnosed cancers and deaths related to cancer in the United States. Despite this, Americans are continuing to forgo colorectal cancer screening as part of their preventive health maintenance. Screening helps identify precancerous and early cancerous lesions so they can be easily treated and cured. The purpose of this study was to compare the rates of detection of adenomatous (precursors to colorectal cancer) polyps and colorectal cancer in 2 groups of asymptomatic patients: one group undergoing standard colonoscopy and the other group undergoing standard colonoscopy in conjunction with fecal occult blood testing. A pilot study was performed using a total of 63 patients who were randomly allocated into 2 groups: those receiving standard colonoscopy as the control group and those receiving standard colonoscopy in conjunction with fecal occult blood testing as the intervention group. Research participants also completed demographic information as well as a survey evaluating their perceptions regarding colorectal cancer screening. This survey was adopted from a previous study that evaluates colorectal cancer disease awareness and patients' perceptions following a Health Belief Model. The results show that despite a detection rate of 41% of adenomatous polyps in the intervention group, there were no positive fecal occult blood testing specimens. The Health Belief Model survey revealed that most participants were appropriately aware of the seriousness and treatability of colorectal cancer. They also agreed that colorectal cancer screening guidelines were important and beneficial to follow.

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