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04.04.2019 – 14:47


Norgine New Study Highlights Need to Increase Public Understanding of Important Role of Colonoscopy in Preventing and Diagnosing Gastrointestinal Diseases, Including Colorectal Cancer

Amsterdam (ots)

- Those with no previous experience of colonoscopy were considerably 
more nervous about the procedure than those who had already undergone
colonoscopy (74% vs 49%)
- Current lack of public understanding around colonoscopy may be 
negatively impacting on number of eligible people attending their 
colonoscopy appointment
- Less than half (45%) of those who had not had the procedure knew 
that a colonoscopy could prevent colorectal cancer

NORGINE B.V. (Norgine) today published the findings of a public survey at the European Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ESGE) Days in Prague as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first colonoscopy. [1],[2],[3] This important study highlights the need to increase public understanding of the important role of colonoscopy in the prevention and diagnosis of gastrointestinal diseases including colorectal cancer. The survey was conducted across five major European countries and included both people who had undergone a colonoscopy and those who have no previous experience with the procedure.

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The study findings highlighted the misconceptions and strong negative associations about colonoscopy amongst those who have had no previous experience with the procedure. Those with no previous experience of colonoscopy were considerably more nervous about the procedure than those who had already undergone colonoscopy (74% vs 49%). This may be one of the reasons why many eligible people do not attend their colonoscopy appointments each year [4] - a vital procedure for the prevention and diagnosis of gastrointestinal diseases, including colorectal cancer. The target population for colorectal cancer screening in the EU is close to 69,000,000, but only 14% of the target population is currently being screened.[4]

This study has highlighted the benefit of public education to increase understanding of the importance of the colonoscopy procedure, and particularly its important role in preventing colorectal cancer. Less than half (45%) of those who had not had the procedure knew that a colonoscopy could prevent colorectal cancer. Other findings suggested the need to improve patient experience of the procedure, including bowel preparation and the provision of relevant information. This may provide an opportunity for healthcare professionals to further support their patients.

"This survey highlights the lack of information about colonoscopy in public domain. Clinicians need to provide easily accessible and clear information about colonoscopy to improve the uptake of bowel cancer screening program in our fight against colorectal cancer," said Professor Pradeep Bhandari, Consultant Gastroenterologist, QA Hospital, Portsmouth.

In the 50 years since the first colonoscopy, the procedure has become a crucial tool in the prevention and detection of gastrointestinal disorders, including colorectal cancer. Despite significant advances, however, the variation in uptake across Europe continues to prevent the potential of colonoscopy being fully realised for patients and health systems.

The survey asked 500 and 2500 people with and without colonoscopy experience across five main EU countries (UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy) about their experience and understanding of colonoscopy.[1],[2],[3]
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Notes to Editors: 
Key findings of the survey include: [1],[2],[3] 

- Addressing the impact of the public's negative associations to 
colonoscopy: Those who had previously undergone a colonoscopy tend to
be less negative towards the procedure than those with no personal 
experience. More specifically:
   - They would be less nervous to have a colonoscopy (49% vs. 74%)
   - They would be less embarrassed (43% vs. 59%)
   - Fewer think having a colonoscopy is painful (25% vs. 40%)
   - Fewer would be worried about a colonoscopy being painful (37%
     vs. 59%)

- People who had a colonoscopy were often positively surprised about
  the experience with the majority (59%) felt it was better than
   - There is room for improvement on the colonoscopy experience to
     encourage its uptake across Europe:

- Bowel preparation: There is a gap between patient expectations and 
clinical reality in the amount of bowel preparation liquid volume 
patients had to consume [5]
- Unmet need for information: There is a need to further support the 
dialogue between healthcare professionals and patients and also 
improve the availability of public information resources to increase 
understanding of the procedure on both diagnosis and prevention.  In 
patients who had never undergone a colonoscopy: 
   - less than 4 in 10 believe colonoscopy is used for removal of
     unusual growth (35%)
   - 45% knew a colonoscopy could be used for preventing bowel cancer

About the survey

A quantitative study in the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy to compare selected attitudes in the population who never had a colonoscopy versus people who have had a colonoscopy in the recent past. Participants included adults who had never had a colonoscopy (n=500 per country) and those who had a colonoscopy in the last five years (n=100 per country). The methodology used online interviews with closed questions only. The study was conducted by GfK and supported by Norgine. [1],[2],[3]

About Colorectal Cancer and colonoscopy

Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related mortality world-wide.[6] Colorectal cancer is largely preventable, with early detection being associated with a 90% with a 90% 5-year survival rate.[7] Colonoscopy is an effective method for colorectal cancer screening and has been shown to reduce both the incidence and mortality of colorectal cancer when applied in the general population. Inadequate pre-colonoscopy bowel cleansing reduces the diagnostic accuracy of colonoscopy, particularly for the detection of smaller lesions and sessile (slightly flattened) polyps. This may result in repeated procedures, thereby potentially increasing patient burden, resource requirement and costs and can possibly delay the initiation of treatment.[8],[9],[10]

About Norgine

Norgine is a leading European specialist pharmaceutical company with a direct commercial presence in all major European markets. Norgine specialises in gastroenterology, hepatology, cancer and supportive care. In 2017, Norgine's total net product sales were EUR 345 million, up 17 per cent.

Norgine employs over 1,000 people across its commercial, development and manufacturing operations and manages all aspects of product development, production, marketing, sale and supply.

In 2012, Norgine established a complementary business, Norgine Ventures, supporting innovative healthcare companies through the provision of debt-like financing in Europe and the US. For more information, please visit

NORGINE and the sail logo are trademarks of the Norgine group of companies.


[1] Bhandari P, Amlani B, Radaelli F.  ePP31 Public attitudes to 
colonoscopy: The purpose of colonoscopy. Presented at ESGE 2019, 
Prague. Last accessed April 2019
[2] Amlani B, Bhandari P, Radaelli F.  ePP92 Public attitudes to 
colonoscopy: Experience of colonoscopy. Presented at ESGE 2019, 
Prague. Last accessed April 2019
[3] Bhandari P, Amlani B, Radaelli F.  OP362 Public attitudes to 
colonoscopy: Embarrassment levels and colonoscopy. Presented at ESGE 
2019, Prague. Last accessed April 2019
[4] European Commission, Cancer Screening in the European Union, 
Report on the implementation of the Council recommendation on cancer 
screening, 2017. Last accessed April 2019
[5] Amlani B, Radaelli F, Bhandari P. P0460. Public attitudes to 
colonoscopy: How much bowel preparation liquid must be drunk before a
colonoscopy? Presented at United European Gastroenterology (ESGE) 
Week 2018 in Vienna, Austria
[6] World Health Organisation. Cancer Fact Sheet Last accessed
April 2019
[7] American Cancer Society. Can Colorectal Polyps and Cancer Found 
Early? Last accessed April 2019 
[8] Bechtold ML, Mir F, Puli SR et al. Optimizing bowel preparation 
for colonoscopy: a guide to enhance quality of visualization. Ann 
Gastroenterol 2016; 29: 137 - 146
[9] Brenner H, Stock C, Hoffmeister M. Effect of screening 
sigmoidoscopy and screening colonoscopy on colorectal cancer 
incidence and mortality: systematic review and meta-analysis of 
randomised controlled trials and observational studies. BMJ 2014; 
348: g2467
[10] Baxter NN, Warren JL, Barrett MJ et al. Association between 
colonoscopy and colorectal cancer mortality in a US cohort according 
to site of cancer and colonoscopist specialty. J Clin Oncol 2012; 30:
2664 - 2669 GL/COR/0419/0185, Date of preparation April 2019


For a further information or an interview with Professor Pradeep Bhandari, please contact:

Eleni Fistikaki +44 (0)1895826227 or +44 (0)7825-389477, Clara
Bentham +44 (0)1895-826654 or +44 (0)7734-367883,

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