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Doctors Should Routinely Screen Every Adult Over Age 50 For Colon Cancer

March 22, 2017

Doctors should routinely screen every adult over age 50 for colon cancer

Universal screening of everyone over age 50 for colon cancer could prevent 32,000 deaths a year.  But nearly 40% of those adults are not receiving screening from their doctors.  In 2008, there were 22 million people over age 59 that have not been screened for colon cancer, which “kills more American nonsmokers than any other cancer,” according to the study published on July 6, 2010 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Tragically, one in three people who should be screened for colorectal cancer have not yet done so,” CDC Director Thomas Frieden, MD, said in a statement. “An additional 32,000 lives could be saved if every adult age 50 or older got tested regularly for colorectal cancer.” 

Despite the improvement in overall screening rates, several subgroups had substantially lower rates of screening:

•People ages 50 to 59, 53.9%

•Hispanics, 49.8%

•Low-income individuals, 47.6%

•People with less than a high school education, 46.1%

•Individuals without health insurance, 35.6%

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