Though its rate of occurrence has dipped over the last 20 years, colorectal cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer-related mortality when considering the rates in both men and women. The reduction in the individual development of colorectal cancer has most likely resulted from the increase of routine screening. Modern tests are used not only to detect cancer, but polyps that can be removed and biopsied before they become cancerous themselves. Regular screening of patients helps physicians detect colorectal cancer before it has spread. This has led to an average five-year survival rate among those treated before their cancer has advanced to and beyond the colon. Yet, while most colorectal cancer is treatable in its early stages, only 4 out of 10 colorectal cancers are discovered at this stage.
Thus, it is crucial for patients to get a routine screening every year or so, even those who have no personal or family history of colorectal cancer. Doing so can be the difference between life and death, as polyps can take up to 15 years to fully develop. This means patients have a great chance of preventing cancer before it occurs so long as they keep up with screening tests, specifically those designed to catch pre-cancerous polyps in the colon, including a flexible sigmoidoscopy and, if necessary, a colonoscopy. This also saves money in the long run, for advanced colorectal cancer is much more expensive to treat than it would be to simply remove a polyp during patient screening.
Unfortunately, only half of those eligible for screening actually partake. This could be remedied with an increased awareness for the importance of screening, either from the medical community or in the media, in addition to improving patient access to health care.
If you have any thoughts or comments, please, take this time to contact us. Thank you.
Follow me on Twitter @PrimeCoreSearch