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Research Article Open Access
Background: Colorectal Cancer (CRC) is the third most common type of cancer in the United States. As such, it is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. The goal of this article is to make an attempt at identifying the number of unscreened individuals that are currently harvesting CRC for future presentation.
Methods: The total US population from the years 2003-2012 was obtained from the US Census Bureau. The percentage of population screened over time of interest was obtained from NCQA. The incidence of CRC via flexible sigmoidoscopy is 1.29% in the screened group and 1.64% in the unscreened group, with a relative risk of 0.79. The number needed to screen (NNS) to avert one CRC diagnosis and one CRC related death is 278 and 850, respectively.
Results: Increased screening has decreased the Diagnostic Gap (DG). In 2003, 62.3% of the total expected new CRC cases were being attributed to the DG. In 2012, this number has reduced to 43.1%. In other words, of the total 1,210,677.10 cases of CRC diagnosed from 2003-2012, 521,344.13 cases were from the DG by 2012. Of these cases, 21.9% or 114,349.91 cases could’ve been averted if 100% of the population underwent screening by 2012.
Conclusion: Acknowledging the DG will be the first step in making ACRC an entity of the past.
Diagnostic Gap, Colorectal Cancer, Flexible Sigmoidoscopy, Screening, Gastrointestinal Cancer, Hepatology, Internal Medicine