Colonoscopy Rate in New York Increases by 62 Percent

State health authorities have announced that the rate of colon cancer screening with the colonoscopy procedure has increased by 62% in New York City. There is no doubt that this screening for colon cancer can help to save lives, said many health representatives. Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said that only one-third of people in New York are not getting appropriately screened with colonoscopy. The other two-thirds’ diligence has put them in the clear.

Colonoscopy is a colon cancer screening test recommended to anybody who reaches the age of 50. It is recommended earlier and more frequently if you belong to one of the high-risk groups, such as people with a history of polyps and cancer in their families and African-American patients. The state health department in New York has taken measures to ensure that finding a screening location and getting in touch with the right colonoscopy doctors is easy for everybody. Apparently reps’ efforts have paid off.

New York City can now boast a 67% screening rate. This rate shows significant increase when compared to the 42% of patients who underwent colon cancer screening in the year 2003. Colon cancer is definitely preventable if a gastroenterologist is able to diagnose it at an early stage. Colon cancer kills an estimated 1,400 New Yorkers every single year. 90% of the time, early stage colon cancer is able to be cured. This is one of the primary reasons why colonoscopy is encouraged more and more by the managers of the city’s healthcare.

New York City’s state-wide push to increase awareness about colonoscopy as an effective screening tool resulted in improved rates regardless of racial differences. The rate of colon cancer screening with colonoscopy among Hispanics, Asians, African-Americans and Caucasians were all comparable for the first time in nearly 2 years. The only group that seemed lagging was Russian-speaking people in New York.

Experts attribute the gap in numbers to a lack of education about the importance of colonoscopy in Russian-speaking communities. New York state Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny said that colon cancer screening with colonoscopy is pretty much a foreign topic for this demographic. Only recently did methods of colon cancer screening and rectal cancer screening get introduced to inhabitants in Russia. So Russian-Americans are simply not aware of the possible benefits of colonoscopy. Brook-Krasny said that the state needs to make more of an effort to spread the word about colonoscopy in areas with many Russian-Americans live.

Colonoscopy is the only current method to detect and remove precancerous polyps, or abnormal growths in the rectum or colon. These colon polyps can be removed during the procedure even if they are found to be benign, as an extra precaution. In addition to trying to create widespread awareness of why colonoscopy is beneficial, city officials gave out some tips about how to lower the risk of developing colon cancer. Advice released included reminders to avoid smoking, maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly and practice a healthy diet with plenty of fiber-rich fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Lastly, remember to find a gastroenterologist and schedule a routine colonoscopy check-up when you reach the appropriate age, or if you notice symptoms of bowel disease such as bloody stool or unexplained abdominal pain.