Louisiana colon cancer screening should be priority

Staff reports

The latest report on colon cancer is a sign of good news, but more work still needs to be done to increase screening rates in southern states, such as Louisiana.

Colorectal cancer currently ranks third among cancers as a killer of American men and women, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).

The rate of adults in the United States developing and dying from colorectal cancer has decreased, according to a new Vital Signs report released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Due to increased screenings, decline in risk factors and improvements in treatment, the prevalence of colon cancer decreased 13 percent, and the death rate declined 12 percent between 2003 and 2007 the report said. That means about 66,000 cases and 32,000 deaths were prevented.

Colorectal cancer screening increased overall from 52 percent in 2002 to 65 percent in 2010. Still, about 1 in 3 people between the ages of 50 and 75 are not up to date with recommended colorectal cancer screening. Increasing screenings to 70.5 percent by 2020 would save an additional 1,000 lives each year, the CDC said.