Tag Archives: screening

Friend Turning 50? Send a Card from Peter and Polly Polyp

Send a birthday reminder to a friend turning fifty — or older — letting them know that colorectal cancer screening can save their life. Free musical online cards feature Peter and Polly Polyp and are personalized with your name, your friend’s name, and any special message that you want to send. Friends don’t let friends forget about polyps!

Wyoming Asks: Pledge to Screen for Colorectal Cancer

Men and women in Wyoming are encouraged to take the 2009 Pledge to Screen for Colorectal Cancer. People who complete the pledge receive information and a blue “buddy bracelet” to remind them to be screened. Residents of Wyoming who are uninsured or whose insurance doesn’t cover colonoscopy screening may be eligible for the Wyoming Colorectal Cancer Early Detection Program (WCCEDP). Eligible residents have lived in Wyoming at least one year, have incomes below 250 percent of poverty, and are over 50. People under 50 can also participate if they have special family or personal health histories.

Holiday and Birthday Reminders Increase Screenings

People are more likely to get a colorectal cancer screening if it is scheduled during December or around their birthdays.  Norwegians who received an invitation from the  Norwegian Colorectal Cancer Prevention Trial to come in for a sigmoidoscopy in December kept that appointment more often than in any other month. Reminders sent the week of a person’s birthday also increased the possibility that they would keep their appointment.

Colonoscopies Not Perfect in Stopping Colorectal Cancer Deaths

The percentage of colorectal cancer deaths prevented by colonoscopy may be overestimated. While still very effective in preventing colorectal cancer and deaths from the disease, limits of the test may be larger than previously thought.  Patients need to know that having colonoscopy does not guarantee that they won’t get colorectal cancer. Experts now say that screening colonoscopy may reduce death from colorectal cancer by 60 to 70 percent and may not keep patients from dying from cancers on the right side of their colons at all. A new Canadian study found that some people who died of colorectal cancer had a colonoscopy in the years before their cancer diagnosis.  A

Negative Media Messages Discourage CRC Screening in Blacks

When African Americans hear a positive message that emphasizes progress being made for blacks with colon cancer, they are much more likely to want to be screened.  On the other hand, negative messages that talk about their poorer outcomes make them less willing to have screening tests. Health communications researchers at St. Louis University asked 300 African-Americans to read one of four mock news articles about colorectal cancer, chosen randomly.  Three messages were negative, emphasizing differences from whites. One focused on the progress that blacks were making surviving colorectal cancer. Participants who read the positive article had more positive emotional reactions and more often said they wanted to be screened. 

Less Than a Third of Medicaid Patients Are Screened for Colorectal Cancer

When researchers reviewed medical records for Medicaid-insured people over 50, they found that only about half had colorectal cancer screening recommended to them by their doctors.  But only 28 percent actually received screening. Having an on-going relationship with a doctor (medical home) made a difference.  People who had been seeing their primary care doctor for more than five years were two and a half times more likely to have been screened.

Metabolic Syndrome Increases Colorectal Cancer Risk

People with a combination of three common medical conditions together known as metabolic syndrome have a greatly increased risk of colorectal cancer.  The three are hypertension, diabetes and elevated cholesterol. Reviewing answers the the National Health Interview Survey, researchers found that people who reported metabolic syndrome conditions were almost twice as likely to have colorectal cancer.  Nearly 58,000 people were interviewed by the NHIS in 2002-2003.  Of those 1,200 had metabolic syndrome and 350 had been diagnosed with colorectal cancer. 

USPSTF Updates Screening Guidelines

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has updated their colorectal cancer screening recommendations. Changes from the 2002 guidelines include recommendations not to routinely screen people over 75 and not to screen people over 85 at all. Decisions about screening between 76 and 85 need to be made in light of individual health, prior screening, and life expectancy. The recommendations have dropped barium enema as a screening option. They do not include either CT colonography (CTC or so-called virtual colonoscopy) or DNA stool tests, saying that there was not enough current evidence to judge the harms and benefits of the new technology.

Colorectal Cancer Screening Before 65 Could Save Medicare Dollars

Screening people for colorectal cancer before they reach 65 and are eligible for Medicare could save millions of dollars of future Medicare costs according to a New York City study. While Medicare covers the cost of screening colonoscopies, people need to be 65 to benefit.  Many uninsured adults from 50 to 64 have no way to get screened for colorectal cancer at all.

Few Polyps in Under Fifties

Current colorectal cancer screening guidelines call for testing average risk people when they reach their fiftieth birthday.  But is that soon enough?  Would earlier screening find more adenomatous polyps and prevent more colorectal cancer? Scientists at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine reviewed nearly 3,600 autopsies performed at Johns Hopkins Hospital from 1985 through 2004.  They compared the younger group from 20 to 49 to older  patients from 50 to 89. They looked at the adenomatous polyps found in each decade of life, as well as patient sex and race and the location of the polyps in the colon. Fewer than 2 percent of the autopsied patients in their twenties had