Colorectal cancer rates are declining due to improved screening



And a member of the eart end digested z senate memorial hermann welcome aboard doc thank you very much thanks for having me no my pleasure colorectal cancer i read is the third leading cause of cancer related death united states going to be about fifty thousand of us die from it this year is that right yes actually it's actually the second leading cause yeah but you're right with the numbers it's about fifty thousand about two decades ago it was about sixty thousand per year so we are making some progress but the number on the way up or on the way down overall the numbers on the way down and we've seen that over the last three decades so we we are making significant progress likely because of more people getting screened more options to get screened greater awareness to get screened how do we rank as a country compared to other nations around the world on this one not so great our national averages in terms of of colon cancer screening about sixty sixty five percent for our population now keeping in mind when we compare ourselves to other western countries we're not doing so great when we're comparing ourselves to other countries that don't have the the healthcare resources that we have we're doing wonderfully we are yeah i would rather compare us to countries that also have good medical care absolutely yeah so so why the acs changed a screening guideline from fifty to forty five well that's their recommendation and it's a it's a what they call a qualified recommendation which means that there's not a lot of direct evidence to support the recommendation but what they've what we've observed in the medical field especially guests rollie over the last two decades really it's come to the fore in the last five to ten years is an increasing incidence of colon cancer in younger patients typically thirties the forties forties fifties and it seems like betty increases particularly noticeable in that mid forties group so it was set originally at fifty i'm going to guess because that's about where we started seeing the occurrence right that's right we at the major risk factor for colon cancer screening is advancing age there's no way to prevent that there are preventable risk factors smoking trying to maintain an ideal body weight maine mm limiting your intake of of high fat foods and and red meat but by far ages the greatest risk factor and most of the studies that have been done looking at screening tests to see if they're effective and they can identify cancer or their precursors used age fifty as the as the starting point so most of the direct data that we have applies to patients over fifty and for many years that's been kind of the standard but the acs is now recommending consideration of starting at age forty five men or women either them at greater risk men seem to have a greater risk than women in terms of earlier development of colon polyps and colon cancer but women catch up with us and as over our lifetimes the risk is about the same the risk is about six percent for an individual without getting if they don't ever get screened in their lifetime they've got about a five to six percent risk developing colon cancer race or ethnicity ethnicity in there at all that's a great question and and that is something that we've known about for again a decade at least that african americans or black seem to have a greater risk of developing colon cancer early and they also have greater mortality or higher mortality than whites or hispanics raisins can't put a finger on it yet as to why maybe or just we don't know why there's genetic component there maybe you know lifestyle components as well but it's it's probably something more with genetic and you can always throw in healthcare resource access as well so that's a good point ignoring age is a factor i if you could say stop this and you'll most decrease your risk would it be the smoking the weight gain or the fatty foods smoking absolutely caffeine and there's so many other benefits from not smoking i'm so glad i quit i quit i smoked for too long.

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