Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Recent Studies Confirm Significant Underuse Of Colorectal Cancer Screening

Date:
January 3, 2008
Source:
American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Summary:
Two recently released studies confirm an alarming reality, that a majority of Americans who should be getting screened for colorectal cancer are not. According to a study in the journal Cancer, among an assessment of Medicare beneficiaries between 1998 and 2004, only 25.4 percent of people were screened, despite Medicare coverage for colorectal cancer screening. Figures released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality show that only half of Americans age 50 and over have had a screening colonoscopy.

Two recently released studies confirm an alarming reality, that a majority of Americans who should be getting screened for colorectal cancer are not. Men and women over the age of 50 should be screened for colorectal cancer, but according to a study in the journal Cancer, researchers found that among an assessment of Medicare beneficiaries between 1998 and 2004, only 25.4 percent of people were screened, despite Medicare coverage for colorectal cancer screening. According to figures released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, only half of all Americans age 50 and over have had a screening colonoscopy.

Related Articles


"These numbers are very discouraging and, unfortunately they confirm previous studies that show not enough people are getting screened for colorectal cancer. This disease is preventable and treatable when caught in its early stages, and screening is a covered benefit for those eligible for Medicare," said Grace Elta, MD, president of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE). "We know that screening works. According to a recent study by leading cancer groups, including the American Cancer Society and the CDC, deaths from colorectal cancer dropped nearly 5 percent between 2002 and 2004. Prevention through screening and the removal of precancerous polyps were among the reasons credited for the decline. The ASGE encourages all people age 50 and older to talk to their doctor about getting screened for colorectal cancer."

Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and women and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, killing nearly 56,000 people each year. Many of those deaths could be prevented with earlier detection. The five-year relative survival rate for people whose colorectal cancer is treated in an early stage is greater than 90 percent. Unfortunately, only 39 percent of colorectal cancers are found at that early stage. Once the cancer has spread to nearby organs or lymph nodes, the five-year relative survival rate decreases dramatically.

ASGE screening guidelines recommend that, beginning at age 50, asymptomatic men and women at average risk for developing colorectal cancer should begin colorectal cancer screening. People with risk factors, such as a family history of colorectal cancer, should begin at an earlier age. Patients are advised to discuss their risk factors with their physician to determine when to begin routine colorectal cancer screening and how often they should be screened. Colonoscopy is a procedure which looks at the entire colon and plays a very important role in colorectal cancer prevention because it is the only method that is both diagnostic and therapeutic. Not only does colonoscopy view the entire colon, but it also removes polyps before they turn into cancer.

The Cancer study, published online December 10, looked at 153,469 cancer-free Medicare beneficiaries beginning in 1998, the first year Medicare began coverage for colorectal cancer screening. The beneficiaries included 17,940 patients with one or more risk factors for cancer and 135,529 "average risk" patients. Between 1998 and 2004, only 25.4 percent of patients were screened for colorectal cancer, this is down from 29.2 percent from 1991 to 1997, before Medicare coverage of colorectal cancer screening began. Researchers identified claims for various colorectal cancer screening methods including fecal occult blood test (FOBT), flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, and barium enema.

Recently released figures from The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality show that in 2005 only half of all Americans age 50 and over have had a screening colonoscopy. Nearly 67 percent of Hispanics age 50 and older reported never having had a colonoscopy screening, compared to 47.1 percent of Caucasians and 55.8 percent of African Americans. Age was found to be an issue in the study. Among those aged 50 to 64, 57.5 percent reported never having had a screening colonoscopy, compared to 39.4 percent of those aged 65 and older. Among those 65 and older, 41.6 percent of women versus 36.4 percent of men reported never having had a screening colonoscopy.

The ASGE notes that some reasons for low colorectal cancer screening rates include:

  • Lack of public awareness about colorectal cancer and the benefits of regular screening
  • Inconsistent recommendations for screening by medical care providers
  • Uncertainty among healthcare providers and consumers about insurance benefits
  • Concern about painful or embarrassing screening tests
  • Hesitance to discuss "the disease down there"

The ASGE encourages all people aged 50 or older, and those with risk factors for colorectal cancer, to talk to their physician about getting screened for colorectal cancer.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. "Recent Studies Confirm Significant Underuse Of Colorectal Cancer Screening." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071217141434.htm>.
American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. (2008, January 3). Recent Studies Confirm Significant Underuse Of Colorectal Cancer Screening. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071217141434.htm
American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. "Recent Studies Confirm Significant Underuse Of Colorectal Cancer Screening." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071217141434.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins