Most adults are getting their recommended breast and colorectal cancer screenings.
Yet a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says more
than 22 million adults have not been screened for colorectal cancer, and more than
7 million women have not had a mammogram to detect breast cancer as recommended.
The findings are based on a 2008 national telephone survey of about 200,000 people
ages 50 to 75.
About 63 percent of the respondents said they had received a recommended test for
colorectal cancer. The tests include a fecal occult blood test (FOBT), done with
a home kit that looks for blood in the stool, or a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy,
which involves inserting a thin tube in the rectum and colon to check for polyps.
The encouraging news is that the survey revealed a more than 20 percent increase
in the number of people who had received colorectal tests compared to 2002. Although
the screening rates for breast cancer were much higher (more than 80 percent of
120,000 women surveyed said they had a mammogram in the previous two years), the
overall rate has remained about the same since 2000.
There are often no visible symptoms of cancer until the later stages of the disease.
Routine screenings are the best way to diagnose cancer early for quicker treatment
that can increase the chances of survival.
Take personal responsibility for your health. Read the cancer screening guidelines
at HMSA’s Care
Connection. Also, speak to your doctor about receiving the appropriate screenings.