The Need for Regular Colorectal Cancer Screening

Thousands of Americans will be victims of colorectal cancer this year. Studies have shown that this form of cancer is on the rise even though colon cancer risk factors can be mitigated with regular screenings.  In fact, getting regular colonoscopies is obviously much less inconvenient that developing colon cancer and involve comparably less incurred cost.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute released a report that only 58.6% of people are undergoing regular colorectal screenings. The national health plan, named Healthy People 2020, wants to increase this to 70.5% of all Americans. This plan highlights a fully-implemented colorectal screening that could reduce the number of deaths through early detection and treatment.

Another CDC report has emphasized that colorectal cancer is second leading cause of death in the country.  One-third of those who have this cancer die, despite the fact that prevention from progression can easily be made.  Colonoscopy which scans the colon for precancerous polyps is available in most health providers and is a common and easy procedure to undergo.  Once these cancerous polyps are detected, they can be taken out at the same time.

Early detection would mean a 90% cure rate once colon cancer is identified.  Colorectal cancer deaths have dropped since 1987 due to informational drive about the problem and making people aware of the risk factors connecting to it.

A good question that many people have is when should screening be started?  The rule is those over 50 years of age should definitely submit to colorectal screening.  For those who have a family history of polyps and colon cancer, the screening should be made before the age of 50.  Some individuals will have a genetic disposition towards this type of cancer thus early screening is essential. People who suffer from IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) should also have regular screenings. The mentioned conditions should give enough motivation to have an advance screening before one reaches the age of 50.

After colonoscopy screenings are begun, the procedure should be repeated at least every 5 to 10 years. The gastroenterologist will also be able to establish closer intervals depending on the results of the procedure.