Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) July 06, 2011
Colorectal cancer is the number 2 cancer killer in the US among cancers that affect both men and women and the third most commonly diagnosed cancer. But it doesn’t have to be. Screening can find precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) so they can be removed before turning into cancer. Screening can also find colorectal cancer early when it is easiest to treat. Between 2003 and 2007, approximately 66,000 colorectal cancer cases were prevented and 32,000 lives were saved compared to 2002. Half of these prevented cases and deaths were due to screening, according to a new CDC Vital Signs report released today.
The rate of new cases of colorectal cancer fell from 52.3 per 100,000 in 2003 to 45.4 per 100,000 in 2007, representing nearly 66,000 fewer cancers. The colorectal cancer death rate fell from 19.0 per 100,000 in 2003 to 16.7 per 100,000 in 2007, representing nearly 32,000 fewer deaths, the report says. The estimated direct medical cost of colorectal cancer was $14 billion in 2010; for each person who died of colorectal cancer in 2006, the lost productivity costs were $15.3 billion, or about $288,468 per person, the report says.
The report finds that colorectal cancer screening increased overall from 52% in 2002 to 65% in 2010. Still, about 1 in 3 people between the ages of 50 and 75 are not up to date with recommended colorectal cancer screening.
“Colon cancer can be prevented, and we are making progress in getting more people screened,” said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Those who receive these life-saving screening tests can lead longer, healthier and more productive lives. Saving our nation the health care costs associated with treating colon cancer is an additional benefit."
Screening is recommended for men and women beginning at age 50, using one or a combination of these screenings:
The report, published online at http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns, used 2002-2010 survey data from the state-level Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to determine the number of people aged 50-75 years who were screened for colorectal cancer.
Data on the number of new cases of colorectal cancer diagnosed during 2003-2007 are from the CDC National Program of Cancer Registries and the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program. Cancer deaths are based on information from the CDC National Vital Statistics System.
Significant findings include:
To help get more people screened:
About CDC Vital Signs
Vital Signs is a CDC report that appears on the first Tuesday of the month as part of the CDC journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, or MMWR. The report provides the latest data and information on key health indicators. These are cancer prevention, obesity, tobacco use, alcohol use, HIV/AIDS, motor vehicle passenger safety, health care-associated infections, cardiovascular health, teen pregnancy, asthma, and food safety.