ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Fourteen years ago, just 19 percent of Americans over 50 were getting colonoscopies. But by 2010, that figure rose to 55 percent. Cancer researchers say that’s the reason for a 30 percent drop in colon cancer rates over the past decade in those over 50.
“This is very remarkable, and it speaks to the effects that we’re having on people’s health by doing screening colonoscopies,” says Dr. Brent Tetri, a professor of internal medicine and director of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at St. Louis University Hospital.. “It’s a pretty easy test to do.”
He says pre-cancerous polyps are being found and removed through the simple test.
“When we see folks come in with colon cancer who didn’t get screened when they should have, it’s just such a tragedy because we know it’s so preventable,” he says.
Colonoscopies are recommended for those 50 and over, or earlier if you have a family history of early cancer. The American Cancer Society hopes to increase the number of those getting colonscopies to 80 percent by 2018.
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