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Colonoscopy surveillance cuts the risk of colorectal cancer in patients with a moderate or strong family history, a new study reports.

Researchers found patients at moderate risk who had at least two colonoscopies were 80 per cent less likely to develop colorectal cancer than expected without surveillance.

The risk of colorectal cancer was reduced by 43 per cent

in patients with hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer.

But the researchers said patients at moderate risk had a low incidence of cancer before 45, and surveillance was not indicated until 45 or 50.

The study, published online this week by the BMJ, was carried out in 1,143 people from families registered at a tertiary referral family cancer clinic in London who had at least two colonoscopies, and 652 who had three or more.

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