The Dangers of Ignoring Colonoscopies - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

The Dangers of Ignoring Colonoscopies

People are not being screened for colon cancer as regularly as they should. And experts say this can be a life or death decision. An dew study of almost six thousand colon cancer patients finds over half were not screened prior to their diagnosis. And, they were e25 percent more likely to be diagnosed at later stages of the disease. Those patients have a lower cure rate and a higher likelihood to chemotherapy must be used. 94 percent of patients studied had either never had a colonoscopy, or only had one at the time of diagnosis.

Patients are more likely to receive colorectal cancer screening if it's offered by their primary care physician as part of an office system approach. According to an article in the journal, Archives of Internal Medicine, a system approach includes five clinical behaviors:

  • Educating Patients, usually through direct discussions
  • Identifying patients who are due for screening
  • Making tests available
  • Monitoring patient compliance
  • Providing test results. Under this system approach, researchers noted a 15% increase in patients who became up-to-date with colon cancer screening.

Nearly 60-thousand Americans will die this year from colon cancer. According to the CDC, anyone over 50 should get tested. The American College of Gastroenterology has issued new recommendations to healthcare providers to begin colorectal cancer screening. They say African Americans need screening at age 45 rather than 50. That's because of the high incidence of colorectal caner and a greater prevalence of cancerous lesions in African Americans.

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