Tag Archives: colorectal cancer screening

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.

Some People Getting Colonoscopy Screening Too Often

After a normal colonoscopy when no polyps are found, guidelines call for a repeat test in 10 years. However, almost half of Medicare patients with a negative colonoscopy got another exam within 7 years, and for one in four there was no clear evidence that they needed one. Because colonoscopies have real risks and are expensive, over-testing can be both dangerous and costly. Given limited numbers of physicians who do colonoscopies, unecessary procedures add to long waiting lists for screening and for necessary follow-up exams. Although Medicare regulations call for reimbursement only after 10 years in cases where the first procedure didn’t find a problem, payments are being made for

Screening Rates Go Down for American Indians and Alaska Natives

Colorectal cancer screening rates for colorectal cancer improved between 2000 and 2008 for white, black and Asian-Americans aged 50 and over—but barely improved for Hispanics and actually worsed for American Indians and Alaska Natives. The latest statistics, just reported by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality on March 23, found that: In 2008, among adults aged 50 or over, about 60 percent of whites reported ever having been screened (up from 51 percent in 2000); About 55 percent of blacks and Asian Americans had been screened at least once (compared to 44 percent in 2000); In the same age group, only 44 percent of Hispanics reported ever having

Aussie Study Supports National Screening Program

As the Australian government considers the future of its National Bowel Cancer Screening Program, Australian and US researchers provide compelling evidence of the cost-effectiveness of expanding the national screening program. Australia has one of the highest colorectal cancer (CRC) mortality rates in the world. Its current screening program (costing about $29 million a year) provides a one-time immunochemical fecal test (iFOBT) for people aged 50, 55, and 65 years. Program funding expires in mid-2011. A study funded by the Australian government and the US National Cancer Institute, published in the Feb. 21 Medical Journal of Australia, found that expanding the program to screen all 5 million Australians aged 50 -74

Screening Rates Creep Up . . . But Leave Many Behind

Overall, colorectal cancer screening rates were higher in 2008 than in 2006. By 2008 almost 2 of every 3 Americans over the age of 50 had either had a fecal occult blood test in the past year or sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy within the past ten years. Health insurance made a huge different with two-thirds (66.6 percent) of people with insurance up-to-date with screening compared to about one-third (37.5 percent) of those without health insurance.

Widespread Early Screening for Lynch Syndrome is Cost-Effective . . . and Saves Lives

If doctors ask  healthy people simple questions about cancers in their families, they can find people who are at increased risk for Lynch syndrome, an inherited condition that greatly increases risk for colorectal and uterine cancer. Doctors can use a simple set of screening questions available online to pinpoint an individual’s risk before that person ever gets cancer.   The online tool takes less than two minutes to complete. If family history shows an individual to be at higher risk, genetic testing not only saves lives but is cost-effective. Once Lynch syndrome is diagnosed, active steps can be taken to prevent Lynch-associated cancers or diagnose them early when they can be

FIT Beats All Other Screening for Effectiveness and Cost

In a computer simulation, FIT — fecal immunochemical testing — done every year saved more lives and cost the least of any colorectal cancer screening method, including colonoscopy. The computer model looked at 100,000 average risk people and compared screening methods results for number of colorectal cancer cases number of colorectal cancer deaths cost of screening and treating colorectal cancer for each screened person Compared to not screening at all, annual FIT  could save 3 out of 4 deaths from colorectal cancer. For every 100,000 people between 50 and 75, nearly 3,500 people wouldn’t get colorectal cancer, and over 1,300 wouldn’t die. Not only did FIT screening save the most

Improved Stool Screening Test Finds DNA Changes

Too many people avoid colonoscopy.  Too invasive, they say.  Too scary, too risky. There may be an answer for them in an improved stool test that looks for DNA that is changed in both colorectal cancer and some precancerous polyps. Of course, if the stool test identifies possible polyps or cancer, a colonoscopy is critical to evaluate the findings and remove polyps. The test that looks for methylated DNA in human feces, found 85 percent of cancers and 64 percent of large adenomas.  There were few false positives.  Only one in ten follow-up colonoscopies didn’t confirm cancer or adenomas.

Patients Not Keeping Up with FOBT Screening

Once is not enough for FOBT! Fecal occult blood test (FOBT)  is an effective colorectal cancer screening method, but it needs to be repeated every one or two years to reduce the risk of dying from colon or rectal cancer. But almost half of a group of insured patients initially screened with fecal occult blood testing didn’t follow-up with another FOBT within two years, as recommended.

Get Screened South Dakota!

The South Dakota colorectal cancer screening program has gone statewide! GetScreenedSD has expanded from six pilot clinics to more than 200 clinics across the state of South Dakota. People age 50 and over are encouraged to be screened for this preventable cancer, either with a take-home test or a colonoscopy. Financial help is available for those who cannot afford it. Go to the South Dakota Department of Health to find a testing site near you.

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