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Colorectal Cancer--Screen for Life

Ask most women what their most feared cancer is and breast cancer will usually be the answer.††But colorectal cancer is a bigger threat.† Despite this, colorectal cancer screening rates are much lower than breast cancer screening rates. The CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] wants change:† they want men and women aged 50 and older to ask their health care providers about being screened for colorectal cancer.† Or, as Katie Couric says, "take your butt to your doctor!"

How big a problem is this?† More than 135,000 new cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed this year, and we will bury more than 56,000 Americans after colon cancer.† As with most cancers, colorectal cancer risk increases with age:† 9 out of 10 cases affect people over 50.† There is strong scientific evidence that regular screening tests can reduce colorectal cancer's death toll.† This means annual stool occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy every 5 years, and colonoscopy every 10 years.† [There is now even a "virtual colonoscopy" test using CT scan which is non-invasive.]

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Created: 8/27/2001  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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