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Study shows colorectal cancer screening rates high in patients with multiple health problems
Date:3/20/2012

ectal cancer screening will eventually become as commonplace and routine as Pap tests and mammograms."

The higher screening rates in those with multiple health problems could also be due to more frequent contact with physicians, while residents who are otherwise healthy may not be visiting their physician as frequently, said Steve Fleming, associate professor of epidemiology at the UK College of Public Health.

"Doctors who see these multimorbid patients on a regular basis are more likely to remind patients about receiving regular screenings," Fleming said. "This shows that perhaps some of our outreach efforts should target the folks who are relatively healthy and see no need to visit their physicians regularly."

The study was funded by the National Cancer Institute. The researchers hope to take the lessons learned from this project and develop a large intervention project that can prevent colon cancer mortality in the U.S.

Colorectal cancer is preventable, but it remains the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Kentucky is ranked in the highest tier for both colorectal cancer incidence and death.

A colonoscopy is the most popular screening test for colorectal cancer, but patients may receive other screening tests including sigmoidoscopy and a fecal occult blood test. When colorectal cancer is found early and treated, the 5-year relative survival rate is 90 percent. However, only one of every three colon cancers is being detected at an early, treatable stage.

According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer screening should begin at age 50 or earlier if you have a family history of colon or rectal cancer.


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Contact: Allison Perry
allison.perry@uky.edu
859-323-2399
University of Kentucky
Source:Eurekalert

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