There is good news for the Over 50 population in our country; namely, colon cancer rates fell 32 percent since the year 2000. Deaths from the disease fell by 43 percent. Now, that’s good news!
The declines are attributed to increased screening. The screening includes detecting and removing precancerous polyps. This information is according to a report released March 1 by the American Cancer Society.
Adults aged 65 and older saw the fastest drop in colorectal cancer rates for tumors located in the distal colon (last part of the colon). The drop is slower for those aged 50 – 64.
Every state in the union saw a drop in colorectal cancer rates among those aged 50+. There were seven states with a decline of more than 5 percent a year between 2009 and 2013. These states are California, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Rhode Island and South Dakota.
The states with the highest rates of colorectal cancer showed the slowest declines. These states are Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi.
According to the study, an additional 3.7 million adults over 50 were screened in 2015. If screening rates stay at that level, there could be approximately 40,000 colorectal cancer cases and about 37,000+ deaths from this disease that will be prevented through the year 2030.
Have you been screened for colon cancer?
The bottom line is that as screening rates went up, colorectal cancer rates dropped! With screening, the cancer can be caught early, when it’s curable. Currently, screening is recommended to start at age 50.
Colorectal cancer is the 3rd most common cancer in the American population. In 2017, it is predicted there will be an estimated 95,500 new cases of colon cancer. There will also be an estimated 39,900 new cases of rectal cancer diagnosed in the US.
However, there was bad news in the report. Colorectal cancer rates among those younger than 50 rose 22 percent from the years 2000 – 2013. Gen Xer’s and millennial’s are experiencing significant increases in colon and rectal cancer. This is according to a report in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.