A new American Cancer Society report shows the percent of Americans 50 and older with colon cancer decreased by 30% in the last 10 years, thanks in large part to an increase in people getting proper colon cancer screening.
Routine colon cancer screening is so important because it enables physicians to find and remove precancerous or cancerous polyps while the cancer is still in early stages and more treatable. Colon cancer occurs most frequently in people after the age of 50, when routine screening for average risk patients is recommended to begin.
The percent of Americans that get colonoscopies, one type of screening method, increased from 19% in 2000 to 55% in 2010. The corresponding decrease in colon cancer rates is no coincidence.
However, 1 in 3 Americans is still not getting screened for colon cancer, indicating there's still plenty of room for improvement on the colon cancer screening front.
“These continuing drops in incidence and mortality show the lifesaving potential of colon cancer screening; a potential that an estimated 23 million Americans between ages 50 and 75 are not benefiting from because they are not up to date on screening,” said Dr. Richard C. Wender in an American Cancer Society statement.
Other recent research indicates not all racial and ethnic groups are experiencing such a dramatic improvement in screening rates. Getting these groups screened might be the next step in taking another big step towards eradicating this preventable disease.
Other Colon Cancer News From Around The Web:
- While colon cancer rates in America are falling, rates in Europe are on the rise.
- Research indicates one screening method, the FOBT test, shows promise for reducing colon cancer mortality rates even further.
- Some more troubling news: demand for cancer care may soon outstrip supply.
- Dr. Rebecca Moss makes the case for a healthy lifestyle as a better colon cancer preventative measure than vitamins.
- Here's a nice update on Fight Colorectal Cancer's One Million Strong campaign.
- One colon cancer survivor discusses how battling the disease helped him find inner well-being.
- Another survivor tells why she believes symptoms -- not age -- should influence colon cancer treatment.
- The TODAY Show ran a nice segment on colon cancer a few weeks ago, featuring conversations with survivors and a gastroenterologist.
From Be Seen, Get Screened This Week
- Our first Infographic of the Week went up last Tuesday, and it's a great one: This One Thing Could Save Your Life.
- An old Exact Sciences feature, our Hero of the Month, has a new home here on Be Seen, Get Screened. March's Hero of the Month is Kitt Shapiro, colon cancer awareness advocate and daughter of famed singer Eartha Kitt.
- Ever wondered which fruits, vegetables and nuts are in season at any given time? With our handy new infographic, you'll never wonder again: The Ultimate Fruits, Vegetables and Nuts Seasonality Chart
- IMPORTANT: We're donating $1 to Colon Cancer Alliance for each Facebook Like and website registration we get this month. Help us donate $2 by clicking here (it only takes a few seconds).