Widespread use of colonoscopy leads to decrease in cancer rates

Colon cancer rates have dropped 30 percent in the U.S. in the last 10 years, with the largest decrease seen in in people over the age of 65, according to a report in the March/April issue of CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Researchers found that in the decade between 2001 and 2010, overall colon cancer incidence rates decreased by an average of 3.4 percent per year. They credited the drop to the increased availability of colonoscopy.

"These continuing drops in incidence and mortality show the lifesaving potential of colon cancer screening; a potential that an estimated 23 million Americans between ages 50 and 75 are not benefiting from because they are not up to date on screening," Richard C. Wender, M.D., American Cancer Society chief cancer control officer said in a statement. "Sustaining this hopeful trend will require concrete efforts to make sure all patients, particularly those who are economically disenfranchised, have access to screening and to the best care available." Announcement

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