The study, published in GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, found a total of 12 colorectal cancer cases were identified in the screening group of 1,912 patients and 213 cases of colorectal cancer were found in the non-screened group of 20,774 patients.
One of the 12 persons of the screened individuals with a colorectal cancer and 51 of the 213 persons of the non-screened individuals with a colorectal cancer died because of their cancers, the study said.
Lead author Urs A. Marbet of Cantonal Hospital of Uri, in Altdorf, Switzerland, said colorectal cancer has a very high incidence in Switzerland as well as in other European countries.
It is detected in approximately 413,000 people in Europe every year, half of whom die from the cancer.
Colonoscopy with the possibility of an immediate polypectomy is a recommended and preferred screening method because polyps, or growths in the colon, could turn into cancer over the course of years to decades.
Removing polyps during a colonoscopy prevents that polyp from becoming cancerous, Marbet said.
"In contrast to earlier colorectal cancer screening studies that used colonoscopy, this population-based closed observational study aimed to obtain complete and comparable data on colorectal cancer incidence and colorectal cancer-related mortality after a single screening colonoscopy compared with no screening," Marbet said.