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Prevention of Colorectal Cancer by Endoscopic Polypectomy

Jacques Van Dam, MD, PhD
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From Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02115. Requests for Reprints: Jacques Van Dam, MD, PhD, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 01225.

Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1995;123(12):949-950. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-123-12-199512150-00009
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Colon cancer, the second leading cause of death from cancer in the United States, will be diagnosed in 150 000 Americans this year and will claim approximately 56 000 lives [1]. Progress in treating this disease has been limited, and major advances in surgical and medical treatment are not anticipated in the immediate future. Thus, screening for the “early” curable stages of the disease in asymptomatic persons has become an important and relevant endeavor. As with all screening programs, most individuals who are screened will never get the disease. However, several case–control studies have suggested that screening with sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, and resultant polypectomy can substantially reduce the incidence of and mortality from colorectal cancer [24].

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