Author(s): He J, Efron JE
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Abstract March is national colorectal cancer awareness month. It is estimated that as many as 60\% of colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented if all men and women aged 50 years or older were screened routinely. In 2000, Katie Couric's televised colonoscopy led to a 20\% increase in screening colonoscopies across America, a stunning rise called the "Katie Couric Effect". This event demonstrated how celebrity endorsement affects health behavior. Currently, discussion is ongoing about the optimal strategy for CRC screening, particularly the costs of screening colonoscopy. The current CRC screening guidelines are summarized in Table 2. Debates over the optimum CRC screening test continue in the face of evidence that 22 million Americans aged 50 to 75 years are not screened for CRC by any modality and 25,000 of those lives may have been saved if they had been screened for CRC. It is clear that improving screening rates and reducing disparities in underscreened communities and population subgroups could further reduce colorectal cancer morbidity and mortality. National Institutes of Health consensus identified the following priority areas to enhance the use and quality of colorectal cancer screening: Eliminate financial barriers to colorectal cancer screening and appropriate follow-up of positive results of colorectal cancer screening. Develop systems to ensure the high quality of colorectal cancer screening programs. Conduct studies to determine the comparative effectiveness of the various colorectal cancer screening methods in usual practice settings. Encouraging population adherence to screening tests and allowing patients to select the tests they prefer may do more good (as long as they choose something) than whatever procedure is chosen by the medical profession as the preferred test.
This article was published in Adv Surg
and referenced in Journal of Molecular and Genetic Medicine