Colonoscopy Dramatically Decreases Colon Cancer Rates

Colorectal cancer incidence rates dropped 30 percent in 10 years among adults 50 and up, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). US patients older than 65 saw the largest decrease. ACS credits the trends primarily to widespreadcolonoscopy screening. The practice has almost tripled among adults ages 50 to 75, from 19 percent in 2000 to 55 percent in 2010.

ACS published its findings from the most recent decade of data (2001 to 2010) in its clinical journal, which also noted that mortality rates for colorectal cancer (commonly called colon cancer) also declined rapidly in 10 years.

About Colonoscopy Screenings

A colonoscopy is a relatively simple, 15-minute procedure to locate and remove precancerous growths before they become a major health hazard.

Generally, ACS recommends undergoing a colonoscopy ever 10 years, beginning at age 50. However, patients with a personal or family history of inflammatory bowel disease (like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis) often need to begin colonoscopy screenings when they are younger. Furthermore, any of these symptoms may necessitate a colonoscopy:

  • bleeding or pain with bowel movements;
  • changes in bowel habits with either increasing constipation or diarrhea;
  • abdominal pain;
  • bloating; or
  • weight loss.

Early detection and treatment are helpful in fighting colorectal cancer. Also important are the essential “ingredients” to reduce the chances of developing it:

Learn about your risk factors with our free health risk assessment. With locations throughout metropolitan New York, the North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute treats all stages of colorectal cancer.

This post was written by David Rivadeneira, MD, vice chair of surgical strategic initiatives in the eastern division of the North Shore-LIJ Health System and director of surgical services and colorectal surgery at Huntington Hospital.

For more North Shore-LIJ Health Blog posts, go to http://blog.northshorelij.com/ 

Contents of the health blog are the property of North Shore-LIJ Health System and are provided as a health resource for consumers, health care professionals and members of the media. The medical content on the North Shore-LIJ Health Blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for consultation with your physician regarding diagnosis, treatment or any other form of specific medical advice. These materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "North Shore-LIJ Health System," "North Shore-LIJ," "northshorelij.com," "VivoHealth," their related entities and logos are trademarks of the North Shore-LIJ Health System. Copyright © 2011 North Shore-LIJ Health System. All rights reserved.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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