Too Many Americans Skipping Colon Cancer
FRIDAY, March 2 (HealthDay News) -- Approximately one in three
U.S. adults between the ages of 50 and 75 who should be screened
for colorectal cancer have not been, according to the American
Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.
As National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month kicks off, the
society is reminding older adults about the benefits of a
colonoscopy exam to screen for colorectal cancer, which is largely
preventable, while offering tips on getting screened.
"Colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable cancers because the majority of colorectal cancers arise from precancerous growths in the colon called polyps, which can be found during a colonoscopy screening exam and removed before they turn into cancer," Dr. Gregory Ginsberg, president of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), said in a society news release.
ASGE experts say everyone should be screened starting at age 50,
and repeat the screening once a decade thereafter if the initial
test results come back normal.
Those with a family history of colorectal cancer should get
screened starting at age 40. Other high-risk groups, such as black
people and those with inflammatory bowel disease, should discuss
getting screened sooner with their doctors.
Before the screening, it is important to follow pre-colonoscopy
instructions carefully to ensure the colon is thoroughly cleaned so
no polyps or cancers are missed during the procedure, Ginsberg
Studies suggest that not following the prescreening guidelines
results in more missed polyps.
For more on colonoscopies, visit the
American Society for Gastrointestinal
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