Health Care

New recommendations for colon cancer screenings

New recommendations for colon cancer screenings”

It is recommended on the basis of data review and modeling that incorporated new incidence rates for colorectal cancer in the well as information about interventions based on the course of the disease.

"Behind these numbers are real people and real faces, and all of us in the colorectal cancer world and all the gastroenterologists and all the oncologists have been seeing more and more young people who develop this disease", said Dr. Richard Wender, chief cancer control officer at the American Cancer Society, who oversaw the development of the new guidelines.

Because of her family history of colon cancer, Smith was advised to have a colonoscopy at the age of 40 but admits she put it off.

"If we find it in later stages, survival is less than 20%", McFadden explained.

"Colon Cancer is one of those types of cancers that if you catch early it's very important in the overall outcome of treatment you can receive", said Dr. Drake Lavender said.

"You know the screening is not a fun process, everyone knows that", said Smith. It is estimated that there will be more than 135,000 new cases reported this year. The biggest increases have been seen in white Americans, who typically have lower rates of colorectal cancer than black Americans and some Native American groups. It also assumes that outcomes are better when these cancers are found via screening, before they start causing symptoms (e.g. rectal bleeding). Unlike classic optical colonoscopy, no sedation is needed, so virtual CT colon cancer screening can be performed in the middle of a work day.

Although there are several ways to screen for colon cancer, some professional groups, including the American Gastroenterological Association, endorse colonoscopies over other methods. People in this younger age range are not often screened, and death rates among young people are increasing too.

Now that the American Cancer Society has made this recommendation, Dr. Matthiesen says other groups will likely follow suit.

Annual test options include two that can be done from home - for those, people collect a stool sample and send it in to be tested (the scientific names are a fecal immunochemical test and a high-sensitivity, guaiac-based fecal occult blood test). Now they suggest that first screening to come at age 45 instead. "With screening the actual age of diagnosis is moving downward".

Researchers believe the rise in colon cancer incidents are due to the obesity epidemic in our country, environmental factors and eating large amounts of processed foods like canned meat.

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