The American Cancer Society, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Cancer Institute and North American Association of Central Cancer Registries have produced the newest “Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer.” The report found that while incidence rates for cancer of all types has held steady for women, it has decreased for men. The report specifically notes that “declines in colorectal cancer may be related to the elimination of precancerous lesions as a result of increased use of colonoscopy screening.” The colonoscopy is widely recognized as the gold standard when it comes to screenings for colon cancer because it can both detect and treat in the same procedure. This method of colon screening is unique because it can actually prevent colon cancer by removing polyps before they become cancerous. Other screenings only detect cancer. Colon cancer is 90 percent treatable when discovered early, so a colonoscopy is the best screening method to avoid or detect colon cancer in its early stages when it can be treated most effectively. Men and women of average risk for colon cancer should be screened at age 50 (45 for African Americans).
Talk with your doctor to make sure you’re up-to-date on your cancer screenings. By keeping up with cancer screenings, we can continue to lower the incidence rates for all types of cancer, including colon cancer.