Colon Cancer Rates Drop Sharply Due to Screenings

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Last Updated: Dec 3, 2016

Over the past one decade, there has been a drop of colon cancer cases by 30% in people above the age of 50, thanks to colonoscopies, in reference to reports released on Monday.

Richard Wender, chief cancer control officer at the American Cancer Society, said in a report this was the greatest success stories of the decade.  It was made public on Monday in California Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Doctors recommend screening at the age of 50.

Recently, many people are going for screening with the number of Americans between 50 and 64 having tripled. In 2000 only 19% of the population went for screening but the figure rose up to 55% in 2010. Earlier screening helps doctors to remove polyps before they become malignant. The American Cancer Society projects screening 80% of eligible people by 2018.

Colorectal cancer is the third main cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. with estimates being 136,830 Americans will be diagnosed with the disease this year and 50,130 will face death.

Arun Swaminath, who never took part in the study, and a gastroenterologist and director of inflammatory bowel disease at a New York hospital, says that they aim at reducing death cases to zero as more of the population gets access to rectal cancer screening.

Deaths from colon cancer are declining at a rate of 3% annually for over the past on decade, in reference to the report.

At the age of 65, patients are put under Medicare and can go for screening at no cost.

Between 2007 and 2010, there has been dramatic decline in colon cancer cases at an annual rate of 7.2%.

Although young people rarely suffer from colon cancer, the falling rates in older Americans are particularly striking. Young [people suffer from colon cancer due to obesity and poor diet, according to the report. There is an annual increase of colon cancer in people under the age of 50 by about 1.1%.

Lifestyle issues including obesity, sedentary lifestyles, and consumption of red processed meat are linked to about 70% of colorectal cancers.

According to the findings, the decline in colorectal cancers is unequal among different racial groups. The decline is higher amongst the whites while compared to other minorities. Additionally, death rates from the disease were 50% higher in the blacks than the whites, which could have been caused by blacks’ less access to healthcare, according to an expert.

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