With 200,000 Colonoscopies Missed in 2020, National Leader in Colorectal Cancer Detection and Prevention Stresses Importance of Early Detection and Treatment
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — AMSURG, a division of Envision Healthcare and a national leader in outpatient care, is raising awareness about colorectal cancer (CRC), encouraging individuals who are at average risk to begin routine screenings at age 45 and not delay essential screenings during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. – that’s not a statistic Americans should accept. Together, we can change this,” said Jeff Snodgrass, President of AMSURG. “Routine screenings like colonoscopies detect and prevent colorectal cancer. With proper screenings, people can reduce their chances of developing serious health complications from colorectal cancer.”
Routine screenings play an essential role in helping people detect and prevent CRC. When detected early, CRC can be easier to treat, and patients often have better outcomes. The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 150,000 people will be diagnosed with CRC in 2021. Although the rate of people being diagnosed with CRC has dropped in recent years, the incidence in young adults is increasing. AMSURG data reveals that since 2019, pre-cancerous polyps have been found in one out of four patients under the age of 50 who have undergone a colonoscopy.
Medical consensus is building for Americans 45 and older to receive routine screenings for CRC. The American Cancer Society lowered the recommended screening age from 50 to 45 in 2019. In 2020, the United States Preventive Services Task Force shared a draft recommendation to lower the screening age to 45.
“Every year, every month counts with CRC,” said Brenda Thompson Green, AMSURG employee. “Four years ago, I was diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 46. Had I been encouraged to get screened a year earlier, there’s the potential that I could have had a much more positive outcome and not required such intense treatment. I am alive today because I listened to my body, sought the appropriate care and received a screening colonoscopy at the suggestion of my physician. Until the screening age is more broadly accepted, I cannot stress how important it is for people to know their family history, understand the symptoms and not delay care.”
AMSURG is the national leader in providing colonoscopies – a comprehensive procedure in which physicians can detect and remove polyps before they become cancerous. A colonoscopy is instrumental in helping people maintain their health and quality of life. CRC does not disappear during a pandemic. In 2021, AMSURG revealed that more than 200,000 of its patients missed their colonoscopies, and based on statistical expectations, approximately 900 of these people would have CRC.
“At our centers, we provide patients essential care and support the health of communities – even during a pandemic,” said John Popp, MD, Medical Director for AMSURG. “We continue to adhere to rigorous quality and safety measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 exposure. People should be on the lookout for CRC symptoms, such as a persistent change in bowel habits, including diarrhea, constipation or a change in the consistency of their stool. Rectal bleeding, persistent abdominal discomfort, or a feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely may also be warning signs.”
AMSURG acquires, develops and operates ambulatory surgery centers (ASC) in partnership with physicians throughout the United States. As of January 1, 2021, AMSURG owned and operated 257 ASCs in 34 states and the District of Columbia with medical specialties ranging from gastroenterology to ophthalmology and orthopaedics. To learn more about AMSURG, a division of Envision Healthcare Corporation, visit www.amsurg.com.
About Envision Healthcare Corporation
Envision Healthcare Corporation is a leading national medical group that delivers physician and advanced practice provider services, primarily in the areas of emergency and hospitalist medicine, anesthesiology, radiology/teleradiology, and neonatology to more than 1,800 clinical departments in healthcare facilities in 45 states and the District of Columbia. Post-acute care is delivered through an array of clinical professionals and integrated technologies which, when combined, contribute to efficient and effective population health management strategies. As a leader in ambulatory surgical care, the medical group owns and operates 257 surgery centers in 34 states and the District of Columbia, with medical specialties ranging from gastroenterology to ophthalmology and orthopedics. In total, the medical group offers a differentiated suite of clinical solutions on a national scale with a local understanding of our communities, creating value for health systems, payers, providers, and patients. For additional information, visit www.envisionhealth.com.