Colon Cancer Screening tied to better outcomes

By Andrew M. Seaman

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People who are diagnosed with colon cancer after routine colonoscopies tend to have better outcomes and less advanced cancers than people diagnosed based on symptoms, says a new study.

Those who were diagnosed with colon cancer as a result of symptoms were three times more likely to die during the study than the patients diagnosed after colonoscopy screenings, researchers found.

"It's in line with its current use. It shows that colonoscopy appears to be beneficial in reducing deaths in those diagnosed with colorectal cancer," said Dr. Chyke Doubeni, who studies colonoscopy use but wasn't involved in the new research.

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., according to the government-backed U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), which recommends that people between ages 50 and 75 get screened by colonoscopy every ten years.

See full story here.

Unexpected costs for colonoscopies under the ACA

A study that came out a few months ago showed that under the Affordable Care Act coverage, many people could be billed for a colonoscopy that should have been covered because they had a polyp removed during the procedure.That was because the ACA was unclear if this was covered.

But the government clarified this week that the ACA does cover polyp removal during screening. This is great news, as polyp removal can prevent colon cancer.

See the FAQ about the ACA here.

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