Tag Archives: colorectal cancer screening

Should Pink October Turn Blue?

By Chris Adams, Research Advocate for Fight Colorectal Cancer Last month, you may have noticed the pink jetliners, pink NFL players and pink garbage trucks.  Yes, it was Pink October, also known as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM).  NBCAM is probably the biggest and most successful public awareness campaign in modern US history.  NBCAM’s goal is to increase awareness of the need to screen for breast cancer through mammograms.  Now we are in November and you may have noticed that your colleagues are sporting more facial hair than Mumford and Sons.  Yes, it is Movember or No-shavember or something, the up and coming awareness month for prostate cancer screening

Wanted: 100 U.S. Representatives

H.R. 4120 has 37 cosponsors, but your help is needed to push the number to 100 by the end of September. Colorectal cancer screening is covered under Medicare without cost sharing (or co-pay), but if a Medicare patient undergoes a screening colonoscopy during which a polyp or other tissue is removed, that patient is required to pay. This policy is unfair, confusing and deters individuals from receiving a test that could save their lives. Earlier this year, H.R. 4120, the ‘‘Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act of 2012,” was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA). H.R. 4120 would waive a Medicare beneficiary’s coinsurance

Fighting Colorectal Cancer on Many Fronts

Indran Krishnan, MD, FRCP (London), FRCP(C), FACP, FACG is fighting colorectal cancer on many fronts. As a gastroenterologist, he personally screens people every week. As an associate professor at Emory University, he trains the next generation of physicians. As an advocate, he serves on Fight Colorectal Cancer’s Board of Directors, and was a founding member of the Georgia Colon Cancer Coalition. In the first 4 months of 2012, Indran stepped up his efforts by: Meeting with Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and members of the Georgia legislature to introduce them to Fight Colorectal Cancer and spread the word about screening; Attending this year’s Call-on Congress, our annual advocacy training and lobby

Giving Patients a Screening Choice Matters

When patients  were offered a choice of colorectal cancer screening with either FOBT or colonoscopy, they were significantly more likely to complete that screening than when their doctors recommended only FOBT or only colonoscopy. Nearly 1000 racially and ethnically diverse patients in urban primary care practices were randomly assigned to get colorectal cancer screening via: Fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) Colonoscopy, or Their choice of either FOBT or colonoscopy. Overall, 58 percent were screened within the next year. 

Improved CRC screening results, challenges to reach Alaska Natives

Alaska Native Americans have a much higher rate of both colorectal cancer and resulting deaths than other populations—about twice those of the U.S. white population (age-adjusted) for the period of 2004 to 2008. They also have the highest rate of CRC cases of all Native American groups—nearly five times higher than American Indians living in the Southwest, for example. The reasons? Unknown. But health officials do know that improved screening can prevent CRC, and earlier CRC detection saves lives. And in fact, statewide screening rates among Alaskan Natives improved from 29 percent in 2000, to 41 percent in 2005.

Cutting Out Polyps Cuts Colorectal Cancer Deaths in Half

We thought it was true . . . and now research comes along with evidence. Colonoscopy reduces death from colorectal cancer. In a follow-up analysis from the National Polyp Study, people who had adenomas — the risky kind of polyps — removed during the study were much less likely to die from colon or rectal cancer than  the general US population.  In fact, removing adenomas cut the death rate from colorectal cancer in half. We knew that colonoscopies find and remove precancerous polyps and reduce the number of new colorectal cancers, but this is the first study to actually link colonoscopy to cutting back death from colorectal cancer. There was

Judge Individual Risk Before Making CRC Screening Decisions

New guidance from the American College of Physicians advises doctors to evaluate each patient’s individual risk and base colorectal cancer screening on that assessment. The four point guidance statement says: Clinicians should perform an individual colorectal cancer risk assessment for all adults. Average risk adults should be screened at age 50. Individuals at high risk should begin screening at age 40 or 10 years before the youngest relative was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Average risk individuals should be screened with a stool-based test, flexible sigmoidoscopy, or optical colonoscopy. Colonoscopy should be used to screen patients who are at high risk. Clinicians should stop screening for patients over 75 or adults

Advice from Ms Butt Meddler — Start at 45

Ms. Butt Meddler, the singing and dancing gastroenterologist, tells African Americans to Start at 45. African Americans have a high rate of new colorectal cancers and they are diagnosed earlier in life. And their death rate is higher than the rest of the US population. The American College of Gastroenterology guidelines call for them to be screened beginning when they are 45. Patricia Raymond MD, AKA Ms. Butt Meddler, sings and dances and recommends that blacks start screening at 45, rather than 50. Dr. Raymond is a board-certified gastroenterologist who “. . .takes medicine seriously and herself lightly.”  She tells people who are afraid of colonoscopy to Laugh Their Fears

Patient Navigators Boost CRC Screening Rates

A patient navigator who speaks the patient’s language and has time to spend answering questions and removing barriers makes a difference in whether that patient will get colorectal screening. A study in Boston randomly assigned community patient navigators to half of a diverse group of low-income patients who were behind in colorectal cancer screening.  Compared to patients who received usual health care, patients who got help from a patient navigator were more likely to complete screening, have a colonoscopy, and have polyps detected and removed.

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