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March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: Do You Know What Your Screening Options Are?
Date:3/6/2009

Prevention through screening for colorectal cancer and removal of precancerous polyps among key factors in saving lives

Oak Brook, Ill., March 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Colorectal cancer, also referred to as colon cancer, is one of the most preventable cancers. Recent statistics show that the incidence (the rate at which new cancers are diagnosed) and death rates from colorectal cancer are declining, in part due to prevention through screening and removal of precancerous polyps (growths in the colon that can turn into cancer). Colorectal cancer screening has been in the news a lot in the past few months, from studies about new technologies to updated screening recommendations; patients may be left wondering which screening method is best for them. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and this year the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), which represents the specialists in colorectal cancer screening, is educating patients about the recommended screening methods.

"The good news is that death rates are declining from colorectal cancer. The bad news is that only about half of those who should be screened are doing so," said John L. Petrini, MD, FASGE, president of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. "Age is the most important risk factor for colorectal cancer. ASGE guidelines recommend screening begin at age 50 for men and women at average risk who have no symptoms. Some people may need to be screened earlier if there is a family history of the disease. It's important to talk to your doctor about an appropriate screening schedule. Ask questions and work with your doctor to determine the screening method that is best for you, as each screening option has appropriate applications and limitations."

To learn more about colorectal cancer prevention, log on to the ASGE's colorectal cancer awareness Web site '/>"/>

SOURCE American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
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