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CDC: Colorectal Cancer Testing Needs to Increase Among Adults

About 1 in 3 U.S. adults isn’t getting recommended screening (November 5)

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer among men and women in the U.S., after lung cancer. About 1 in 3 adults is not getting screened for colorectal cancer as recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Colorectal cancer screening saves lives, but only if people get tested. According to the CDC, adults 50 to 75 years of age should get tested with one or a combination of these screening tests:

  • Fecal occult blood test (FOBT) or fecal immunochemical test (FIT) done at home every year.
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy, done every 5 years, with FOBT/FIT done every 3 years.
  • Colonoscopy done every 10 years.

The CDC states that colorectal cancer screening can increase if physicians, nurses, and health systems:

  • Offer all recommended test options, with advice about each test.
  • Match patients with the test that they are most likely to complete.
  • Work with public health officials to get more people tested using patient navigators to help people through procedures, such as colonoscopy.
  • Make it easier for people to get FOBT/ FIT kits in places other than a doctor’s office, such as giving them out at flu-shot clinics or mailing them to their homes.

Source: CDC; November 5, 2013.

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