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Screenings Cut Colon Cancer Death Rate

Screenings Credited With Helping Reduce Colon Cancer Incidence, Death Rates in Recent Years

Doctors Need to Promote Screening Procedures

But for many people, more action is needed, the CDC says. More than a third of respondents to federal surveys said they were not up to date with screenings. And one reason, the CDC says, may be that doctors don’t recommend the procedures enough.

CDC says that:

  • The Affordable Care Act will reduce financial barriers to screenings by expanding insurance coverage and eliminating co-payments and deductibles.
  • Federal, state, and local public health departments can work with health centers to implement ways to remind doctors and patients about the importance of colorectal screening.
  • The CDC Colorectal Cancer Control Program funds 25 states and four tribal organizations for the use of population-based approaches to increase screening among men and women aged 50 and older. These approaches include case management and outreach.

The CDC report cites a survey of U.S. and Canada residents found that 31% of people in the United States say they would opt not to be screened for colorectal cancer even when their preferred method of screening was offered.

Doctors should use this knowledge to explain screening options, the CDC report says. Screening options vary from averaging about $71 for fecal blood tests to $1,397 for colonoscopies.

The CDC says implementation of the Affordable Care Act should remove financial barriers to colorectal cancer screening. But even that won’t be enough to significantly improve screenings and outcomes.

The CDC recommends that state health departments look for ways to emphasize and organize more screening programs.

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