U.S. Colorectal Cancer Screening

U.S. Colorectal Cancer Screening Industry: The Significance of Prompt Diagnosis in Healthcare Early Detection Saves Lives


Risk Factors and Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer, also known as colon cancer or bowel cancer, affects the large intestine and rectum in the human body. It is the third most common cancer in men and women in the United States. Some of the major risk factors for developing colorectal cancer include older age, family history, certain types of inflammatory bowel disease, lifestyle factors like obesity and lack of physical activity, smoking and heavy alcohol use.

The symptoms of Colorectal Cancer may not show up until the cancer has grown or spread. Some common signs and symptoms include changes in bowel habits such as diarrhea, constipation or narrowing of the stool that last for more than a few days, rectal bleeding or blood in the stool, abdominal discomfort like cramps or pain, weakness or fatigue and unintended weight loss. These symptoms could be caused by other conditions, but it is best to consult a doctor if noticed, especially for those at higher risk.

Recommended U.S. Colorectal Cancer Screening Industry Tests

The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening for colorectal cancer starting at age 45 for average-risk individuals. This means people without a family history or other factors that increase their risk of the disease. Several screening options are endorsed based on an individual’s risk level and preferences.

For those aged 45 to 75 years with average risk, the USPSTF suggests high-sensitivity fecal immunochemical tests (FIT) annually, multi-target stool DNA tests every 3 years, or visual examination of the colon and rectum (flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy) every 5-10 years. Those at high risk due to family history should consult their doctor and likely start screening earlier between ages 40 to 45 or consider more frequent exams. Screening is not recommended for individuals older than 75-85 years if previous screenings have not found cancers or polyps.

Importance of U.S. Colorectal Cancer Screening Industry and Early Detection

Regular colorectal cancer screening is crucial because it allows precancerous polyps called adenomas to be detected and removed before they turn cancerous. Screening also helps find colorectal cancers early when they are small and still confined to the innermost lining of the colon or rectum. Early detection greatly improves the survival rate and treatment outcomes for colorectal cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, the 5-year survival rate is about 90% when colorectal cancer is found at an early localized stage versus 14% when it has spread to distant organs.

Additionally, the US Preventive Services Task Force estimates that increasing colorectal cancer screening to recommended levels could reduce the death rate from the disease by as much as 60%. Screening helps prevent cancers from developing by finding and removing polyps before they turn cancerous. It is estimated that removing colorectal polyps could reduce colorectal cancer cases and deaths by up to 80-90%. This underscores the life-saving impact of screening for precancerous polyps through tests like colonoscopy.

Barriers to Screening and Improving Participation

Despite the clear benefits, not enough Americans are getting screened according to guidelines. A recent study found that only 65% of eligible individuals had been screened appropriately based on USPSTF criteria. Some major barriers reported include lack of recommendation or referral from doctors, concerns about screening tests being painful or inconvenient, embarrassment, low perceived cancer risk and lack of health insurance coverage or ability to afford co-pays.

Public health experts are working to improve screening rates and address these barriers through awareness campaigns, increasing access to low-cost or free programs, expanding screening recommendations to start at age 45 rather than 50, and promoting less invasive screening options like FIT and DNA stool tests. Doctors should recommend routine screening, address concerns and ensure high-risk patients are screened as early as age 40. Employers, insurers and policymakers must work to increase coverage and access to screening services without financial hardship. With more education and support, the goal is for colorectal cancer to become as routinely screened for as cervical and breast cancers.

In summary, colorectal cancer remains a serious health issue despite being largely preventable through screening. While tests may sound daunting, with proper preparation they are less painful and invasive than they appear. Detecting and removing precancerous polyps through regular screening starting at age 45 offers the best chance of cure if cancer develops. It also helps to prevent cancer onset in the first place. Increased participation in evidence-based screening is crucial to achieve greater reductions in colorectal cancer cases and deaths. With community education and support to address existing barriers, more lives can be saved through early detection.

1.Source: CoherentMI, Public sources, Desk research
2.We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it