Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and women and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, killing nearly 56,000 people each year. Many of those deaths could be prevented with earlier detection. The five-year relative survival rate for people whose colorectal cancer is treated in an early stage is greater than 90 percent. Unfortunately, only 39 percent of colorectal cancers are found at that early stage. Once the cancer has spread to nearby organs or lymph nodes, the five-year relative survival rate decreases dramatically.
ASGE screening guidelines recommend that, beginning at age 50, asymptomatic men and women at average risk for developing colorectal cancer should have a colonoscopy every 10 years. People with risk factors, such as a family history of colon cancer, should begin earlier. Patients are advised to discuss their risk factors with their physician to determine when to begin routine colorectal cancer screening and how often they should be screened.
Colorectal cancer can be present in people without symptoms, known family history, or predisposing conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease.
The following symptoms, however, might indicate colorectal cancer:
-- Change in bowel habits
-- Diarrhea or constipation
-- Narrower than normal stools
-- Unexplained weight loss
-- Constant tiredness
-- Blood in the stool
-- Feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
-- Abdominal discomfort-gas, bloating, fullness, cramps
-- Unexplained anemia
To ensure the best possible patient outcomes, ASGE has taken a
leadership role in developing quality measures for endoscopic procedures
such as colonoscopy. Establishing quality indicators, such as appropriate
withdrawal time and detection rates, is a major step toward providing
patients the highest quality endoscopic care. ASGE's "Quality Indicators
|SOURCE American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy|
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