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Report: Colorectal Cancer Tests Save Lives, Millions Still at Risk

The Vital Signs report, published November 5th on the CDC website, generated discussion about the importance of colorectal cancer screening and the problems associated with the large portion of the 50-75 year old population that has not undergone screening tests. The report was based on a large survey conducted last year regarding the various methods of early colorectal cancer screening, and the numbers of people who actually undergo these tests per medical recommendation.

The results were staggering.

 

In response to the Vital Signs information, CBS News reported, “CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden told reporters Tuesday that it's a ‘really disturbing fact’ that screening rates remained lower than they should be when it is known that colorectal cancer tests can save lives.” The article also states, “More than 50,000 people will die from colorectal cancer [in 2013], the leading killer of non-smokers in the country.” 

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Image via CDC.gov

The Washington Post investigated reasons why people may forego colorectal cancer screening, stating, “The [colonoscopy] test is the most common of the three screening options for people 50 and older.” The report reveals, “Frieden emphasized that while colonoscopy is the most common test, there are other options. The less-invasive at-home blood stool tests…are just as effective for healthy adults who may not prefer the colonoscopy.”

News-Medical.Net also issued a response to the Vital Signs report. In an interview, Dr. Harry E. Sarles, Jr., M.D., FACG, President of the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) remarked, "As a nation, we can do better in screening eligible patients for colorectal cancer." Additionally, Anil K. Rustgi, M.D., AGAF, American Gastroenterological Association Institute President commented, “More than half the patients who will die of colorectal cancer this year could have been saved by early screening. We can, we must, do better."

At Exact Sciences, we are committed to spreading awareness about the need for early colorectal cancer screening in order to promote early detection and prevention. This CDC report emphasizes the importance of our mission, and encourages adults 50-75 to undergo screening with the phrase, “The best test is the test that gets done.”

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Topics: Colon Cancer News and Information

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