Study: Too few people being screened for colon cancer

Web MD reports this:

"Colorectal cancer screening rates are much lower (than breast and cervical cancer screening rates), although more people than ever are being screened.

In 2010, about 59% of eligible men and women had colonoscopies or another colorectal cancer screening test -- well below the 70% target screening rate for both sexes."

See the full story here.

In Kentucky, we've seen screening rates more than double, but we still have a long way to go. Be sure to get screened, and tell others to do the same!

Current U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) cancer screening recommendations for people at average risk include:

  • Breast cancer: Women aged 50 to 74 should be screened with a mammogram at least every two years. The decision to start screening before age 50 is an individual one and the patient's values regarding specific benefits and harms should be taken into account.
  • Cervical cancer: Women who have been sexually active for three years, or are aged 21 through 65 and have not had their cervix removed during a hysterectomy, should be screened for cervical cancer with a Pap test at least every three years.
  • Colorectal cancer: Men and women with an average risk for the cancer should be screened routinely at ages 50 through 75 with either colonoscopy testing at least every 10 years, sigmoidoscopy every five years combined with ecal occult blood testing (FOBT) every three years, or yearly fecal occult blood testing.

House Committee Passes Colon Cancer Screening Bill

C2P2_logo_BW Contact: Andrea Uhde Shepherd

(502) 290-0288

ashepherd@c2p2ky.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jan. 12, 2012

FRANKFORT, KY – A bill that would allow thousands of uninsured Kentuckians to be screened for colon cancer today won the approval of the House Health & Welfare Committee.

The committee unanimously passed the bill, which would fund the Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Program, a program the legislature enacted in 2008 but has not yet funded

Rep. Jim Glenn (D-Owensboro) and Rep. Bob DeWeese (R-Louisville) are sponsoring HB 275, and it is expected to move next to the House Appropriations & Revenue Committee for a vote.

The bill would appropriate $8 million over the next two fiscal years for the Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Program. It would allot $3 million next fiscal year and $5 million the following year to cover screening for uninsured residents ages 50 to 64 and others determined to be at high risk for colon cancer. The program will also educate all Kentuckians on the importance of screening.

Colon cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among both male and female non-smokers in the United States, despite the fact that colon cancer deaths are highly preventable. Finding and removing pre-cancerous polyps prevents colon cancer.

For more information on colon cancer, visit www.coloncancerpreventionproject.org.

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