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September 24, 2008

Colorectal Cancer Risk: Black, White, or Shades of Gray?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Internal Medicine, Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, Evanston, Illinois.

JAMA. 2008;300(12):1459-1461. doi:10.1001/jama.300.12.1459

Colorectal cancer screening may affect public health through both early diagnosis and actual cancer prevention via identification and colonoscopic removal of precursor lesions (adenomatous polyps).1 However, currently only half of the eligible population undergoes colorectal cancer screening.2 Moreover, many of these patients undergo evaluation with tests that are insensitive for detecting adenomatous polyps. Therefore, despite being eminently preventable, colorectal cancer still ranks as the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.1