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Colorectal Cancer Incidence Drops

colon cancer cellIn the United States, colon cancer incidence rates have dropped 30 percent in the last decade among adults 50 and older, with the largest decrease in people over age 65, according to a new report released in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. The decrease is primarily attritbuted to the widespread use of colonoscopy, which has almost tripled among adults ages 50 to 75. The percent of people living in the US who have undergone a colonoscopy screening has increased from 19 percent in 2000 to 55 percent in 2010.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer and the third leading cause of cancer death in men and women in the United States. This cancer can take decades to develop. Screening offers the detection and removal of precancerous growth, along with early detection when treatment is more successful.

Using government incidence data, the study found that during the most recent decade of data (2001 to 2010), overall incidence rates decreased by an average of 3.4 percent per year. Trends varied substantially by age. For example for tumors in the distal colon and rectum, rates declined by 3.9 percent per year among adults aged 50 years and older, but increased by 1.1 percent per year among men and women younger than 50.

Incidence and death rates are highest in blacks and lowest in Asians/Pacific Islanders; among males during 2006 through 2010, death rates in blacks was 50% higher than those in non-Hispanic whites.

AICR's expert report and its continuous updates estimate that half of all colorectal cancer cases are preventable through diet, staying a healthy weight, and exercise.


Sources: Source: Siegel, Rebecca et al. "Colorectal cancer statistics, 2014." CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. Volume 64, Issue 2, pages 104–117, March/April 2014.


Published on April 2, 2014

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