Screening Efforts Show Results, Colorectal Cancer Rates Drop 30%

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A recent study published in the journal Cancer found that the rate of colorectal cancer among Americans 50 and older has fallen 30 percent in the last decade, according to reports by The Wall Street Journal and USA Today.

The percentage of Americans up-to-date on recommended colorectal cancer screening increased from 55 to 65 percent during the past ten years. Americans 65 and older have shown a 7 percent drop in colon cancer rates from 2008 to 2010.

Earlier this month, President Barack Obama declared March 2014 National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. The American College of Gastroenterology, American Gastroenterological Association and American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy have teamed up on several initiatives to support and further the positive trends of increased screening and decreased rates of colorectal cancer.

 Physicians and providers in the GI field have played no small role in these endeavors.  "Gastroenterologists and GI centers have both contributed toward increased patient awareness and patient friendly access," says Barry Tanner, CEO of Physicians Endoscopy.

Advocacy has reached the national legislative level as well. "The ACA has made colon cancer screening available to everyone at essentially no cost. Consumers who are experiencing new health insurance, many of which contain fairly high deductibles, need to be aware that the ACA mandates that colon cancer screening is accessible to patients with no out-of-pocket cost," says Mr. Tanner.

Though colorectal cancer rates are on the decline, efforts to continue promoting screening and awareness will continue. "Better technology, better sedation, better patient awareness, easier patient access and no out-of-pocket cost for screening colonoscopies are all going to continue to contribute to increasing detection and more lives saved," says Mr. Tanner.
 
More Articles on Gastroenterology:
Fight Colorectal Cancer to Promote Awareness on Capitol Hill
Parkway Surgery Center Participates in National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
Cleveland Clinic Creates Online Colorectal Cancer Risk Predictor

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