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Medical News & Perspectives
April 14, 2010

Expert Panel Offers Advice to Improve Screening Rates for Colorectal Cancer

JAMA. 2010;303(14):1356-1357. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.360

Eliminating financial barriers to colorectal cancer screening and offering patients the opportunity to select a screening method that best matches their financial circumstances and comfort level could help improve screening rates for this malignancy, according to a National Institutes of Health panel.

Although colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, claiming 50 000 lives each year to lung cancer's 159 000, the screening rate for colorectal cancer continues to fall far short of expectations. In 2008, only 54% of adults aged 50 years or older were screened for colorectal cancer. In contrast, 75% of women were screened that year for breast cancer and 72% were screened for cervical cancer.