By the Numbers

By the Numbers

March 10, 2017
3 min read

10 advances in CRC screening, prevention to mark Colon Cancer Awareness Month

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Since President Clinton officially dedicated the month of March as National Colon Cancer Awareness Month in the year 2000, it has become an important catalyst for patients, survivors, physicians and advocates to raise awareness about the importance of getting screened.

Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths, and nearly a third of eligible adults aged 50 to 75 years — more than 20 million people — have not been screened. The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable has therefore set a goal of increasing the screening rate to 80% by 2018.

To mark National Colon Cancer Awareness Month, the editors of Healio Gastroenterology have compiled 10 news articles highlighting recent advances in CRC screening and prevention.

CRC cancer rates rising dramatically in young adults

Adults born in 1990 are twice as likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer and four times as likely to be diagnosed with rectal cancer as people born in 1950, according to a recent study. Further, three in 10 rectal cancer diagnoses are now made in patients younger than 55 years.

“It is important to educate the public about these findings so that young people with symptoms with CRC can receive appropriate, timely follow-up in case they do have cancer,” Rebecca L. Siegel, MPH, director of surveillance information in the Surveillance and Health Services Research Program at the American Cancer Society, said in an interview. Read more

Chronic liver disease linked to higher colorectal cancer risk

Patients with chronic liver diseases have a higher risk for CRC, even after liver transplantation, compared with the general population, according to the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis. Read more

Task force issues recommendations on FIT for CRC screening

The U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer released new guideline recommendations on the use of fecal immunochemical tests for CRC screening, which “highlight the important role that FIT now plays in colorectal cancer screening,” Douglas K. Rex, MD, from Indiana University Hospital, said in an interview.

Read more

Cigarette smoking linked to synchronous CRC

Investigators associated cigarette smoking with an increased risk for synchronous colorectal cancers in a prospective study, highlighting the importance of smoking cessation and abstinence as a component of CRC prevention strategies. Read more


One sigmoidoscopy exam protects against CRC for 17 years

A single flexible sigmoidoscopy examination reduced the risk for CRC by more than a third, and provided continued protection against CRC diagnosis and mortality for at least 17 years, according to results from the U.K. Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Screening Trial. Read more

Poor metabolic health linked to CRC risk in normal-weight, postmenopausal women

Postmenopausal women of normal weight with metabolically unhealthy phenotypes had an increased risk for CRC in a large prospective study, leading researchers to conclude that even normal-weight women should be evaluated for metabolic health. Read more

CRC screening advocacy improved uptake in underserved communities

Promotion of fecal immunochemical testing by community health workers was successful in increasing screening rates among Haitians and Hispanics, according to findings published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Read more

Cancer susceptibility mutations common in CRC

Nearly one in 10 patients with colorectal cancer harbored mutations in genes that may increase susceptibility to cancer, according to a recent study. The research suggests the need for an expanded role of genetic testing in the treatment of the disease and in disease prevention for at-risk family members, according to the researchers. Read more

Aspirin linked to increased GI bleeding risk, reduced CRC risk

Long-term use of aspirin was associated with a reduced risk for CRC, but an increased risk for gastrointestinal bleeding, highlighting the need to weigh the risks and benefits of prophylactic aspirin use, according to data presented at the Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium. Read more

False positive Cologuard test not linked to higher rates of death, cancer

Patients who have a false positive Cologuard test result followed by a negative colonoscopy did not have higher rates of subsequent cancer or death compared with true negative patients, according to results from the LONG-HAUL cohort study. These findings led investigators to conclude that false positive patients do not require aggressive follow-up evaluation. Read more