Tag Archives: screening

Important information to know – from screening to diagnosis for colorectal cancer

Tips From a Member of Our Medical Advisory Board Al B. Benson III, MD, FACP FASCO is Professor of Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine,  and Associate Director for Clinical Investigations, Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Northwestern University One of the nation’s most respected experts in colorectal cancer, Dr. Benson has supported and worked with Fight Colorectal Cancer for years as an active member of our Medical Advisory Board.   Written by Dr. Al Benson, March 18 2013, Chicago, Illinois Although March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, this disease is so frequent yet in most cases preventable that we should be striving every month of the year to make even more people

Too Many Colonoscopies in Over-75s?

A study published in the March 11 JAMA-Internal Medicine suggests that 23 percent of over-75-year-olds have colonoscopies that may be “potentially inappropriate” according to national guidelines which include an upper age limit, as well as how often negative colonoscopies should be repeated. In a retrospective population study, University of Texas researchers looked at billings for 100 percent of colonoscopies performed in Medicare beneficiaries in Texas who were aged 70 years and older who had a colonoscopy in 2008 or 2009. They also examined a nationwide sample of 5% of Medicare claims. Colonscopies were classified as “screening” if records (including claims from 2000 to 2009) did not indicate a diagnosis, or

Colorectal Cancer Is (or Could Be) the Poster Child for Cancer Prevention

February is Cancer Prevention Month, and colorectal cancer (CRC) is a poster child, as one of the few cancers that can be literally seen and removed before it becomes cancer, or can be caught early enough in regular screening to be literally cured. Ponder these facts, based on 20 years of experience and summarized by Linda Rabeneck, MD, MPH of Cancer Care Ontario at the recent “GI-ASCO” (Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium of the American Society of Clinica Oncology):   Annual stool tests (fecal occult blood test, or FOBT) reduce deaths from colorectal cancer by 15 to 33 percent. The newer FIT stool test (fecal immunochemical test) appears to be even better than the

Texas Native Wins A Free Screening and a Second Chance

“A cook-off saved my life.” That’s what Brett Gallaway wrote on his Facebook page on October 3, 2012, after reality sank in. He’d just heard from his doctor that a precancerous polyp had been found during his screening colonoscopy.  A polyp that, if left in place, could have developed into full-blown colorectal cancer. “I didn’t even know I had it,” Brett said.  “I didn’t have any symptoms.” Thanks to a raffle he won at a barbecue cook-off, he was able to receive a free colonoscopy and find the cancer early. Brett’s Facebook page filled with “Likes” and comments. A lot of them were testimonials from friends who had brushes with cancer or

Diet and Exercise Habits Strongly Related to Higher Rates of CRC in People with Lower Education and/or Income

Fewer people in the U.S. are getting colorectal cancer (CRC), but that progress is seen much more often in well-off and highly educated Americans. In fact, the gap is widening in rate of colorectal deaths in people with less education and/or who live in deeply disadvantaged communities. Researchers now have shown that differences in weight, diet and physical activity play a huge role in the higher rates and deaths from CRC among people of lower socioeconomic status. In a paper published in the Sept. 4 2012 Journal of the National Cancer Institute, a careful statistical analysis of  a 10-year observational study of a half-million people indicated that helping people of lower

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

OB-GYNs Urge Colorectal Cancer Screening for Their Patients

Can your annual visit to your gynecologist save your life? Every year more than 70,000 women are diagnosed with colorectal cancer.   Many of those women see a gynecologist for an annual check-up.  In fact, the gynecologist may be their primary health care provider with a unique opportunity to help women decide on colorectal cancer screening. A new Committee Opinion from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that while colonoscopy is the preferred method for screening, women should also hear about other options.  The Committee Opinion stresses: Women should be screened using the method that they are most comfortable with and most likely to complete.

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

Annual Fecal Occult Blood Test Cost-Effective Screening Option

What’s the best way to get large groups of people screened for colorectal cancer? Surprisingly it may not be colonoscopy but fecal occult blood testing (FOBT). A computer model has found annual home testing with a  fecal occult  blood test, either Hemoccult II® or Hemoccult SENSA®,  is more cost-effective than colonoscopy every 10 years to screen people of average risk for colorectal cancer. The model compared the number of life years saved under several scenarios of costs and  compliance with annual testing and follow-up colonoscopies after positive guaiac tests.  For the same fixed budget, more people could be screened with an FOBT and more life years saved.

Screening Rates Improving, but Inequalities Remain

One out of three Americans who needs colorectal cancer screening hasn’t gotten it. There are 22 million men and women in the US who haven’t had a life-saving test than can prevent colorectal cancer. But the good news is that screening rates are going up.  In 2000, half of people who should have been screened reported a current test.  Now almost two-thirds have colorectal cancer screening up-to-date The bad news is that screening rates for the uninsured are almost half those for people with insurance. 

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