Archives     Advertise     Editorial Calendar     Subscribe     Contact Us    

Americans Are Waiting Too Long To Start Colorectal Cancer Screening


Last year, the American Cancer Society updated its colorectal cancer screening guidelines to recommend screening begin at 45 for people who are at average risk. Yet according to new data from AMSURG, a leader in the detection, prevention and treatment of colorectal cancer, most people wait until the age of 58 for an initial screening - 13 years after the recommended guidelines.

In recognition of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, AMSURG has released proprietary data from approximately 1 million patient encounters during the past five years showing that more work is needed to encourage Americans to get screened at the recommended age.This year, more than 140,000 people in the U.S. are expected to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer. While research shows that younger adults are increasingly diagnosed, they do not start regular screenings until their late 50s when cancer is often more advanced.

"Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second deadliest form in the U.S.," said John Popp, MD, medical director for AMSURG. "Having a screening during those 13 years can be life-changing. Screening is the most effective way to detect, prevent and treat colorectal cancer. These cancers typically develop during a 10- to 15-year period, and with early and regular screenings, growths can be removed before they become cancerous."

If cancer is diagnosed early, it is easier to treat, and patients often have a shorter recovery time as well as an increased chance of survival. Colorectal cancer affects people of all genders, races and ethnicities and it often has no warning signs or symptoms until it becomes advanced. Risk factors can include a family history of colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's disease, diabetes and certain lifestyle habits.

"A screening colonoscopy is considered the gold standard," said Colleen Schmitt, MD, MHS, FASGE, FACG, past president of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, trustee and vice chair of the ASGE Foundation and a gastroenterologist at Chattanooga Endoscopy Center in Tennessee. "It is the most comprehensive because we can both detect and remove precancerous polyps during the procedure. In addition to being safe, colonoscopies enable us to evaluate the overall health of the colon and help patients treat any underlying conditions."

People can decrease their chances of developing colorectal cancer by maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and having routine screenings.

Depending on a person's age and health insurance policy, a screening colonoscopy may be provided free of cost.

AMSURG, an Envision Healthcare solution, provides nearly 1 million colonoscopies a year and is committed to helping patients develop appropriate care plans to prevent and treat colorectal cancer. To learn more about colorectal cancer and find a gastroenterologist, visit


Related Articles:

Recent Articles

AMA Intensifies Campaign to End Burnout with Launch of Practice Transformation Initiative

The American Medical Association (AMA) announced an escalation in its prominent efforts to fight the root causes of physician burnout and dissatisfaction with the launch of the Practice Transformation Initiative.

Read More

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

Innovation in care, technology means better outcomes for patients

Read More

The Faces of Opioid Addiction

The Department of Health is raising awareness and putting a face to the opioid crisis in Tennessee.

Read More

Dr. Patrice Harris: First African American Woman to Lead Nation's Oldest Medical Organization

When Patrice Harris, MD, MA, was growing up in rural West Virginia, she wanted to be a pediatrician.

Read More

Council Fellows: A Conversation with Hayley Hovious

Council Fellows is preparing to seat its eighth class of healthcare leaders ready to tackle some of the industry's most pressing issues. Applications are being accepted Sept. 9-Oct. 22 for the 2020 class.

Read More

Answering the Call: Preparing Veterans as Civilian Healthcare Leaders

At a recent ACHEMT meeting, attendees learned more about how veterans' skill sets could be put to work in civilian healthcare leadership roles.

Read More

MIPS: Past, Present & Future

During the August NMGMA meeting, SVMIC's Jackie Boswell provided updates on MIPS reporting for 2019.

Read More

Getting America Moving

Updated physical activity guidelines incorporate new scientific findings, a focus on prevention and more flexibility in how Americans get their move mojo back.

Read More

TOA to Launch Sports Performance Center

TOA's new facility to offer healthcare, classes and training

Read More

Leading with TENNACITY

Local foundation helping trauma survivors take recovery to the next level.

Read More

Email Print



Powered by Bondware
News Publishing Software

The browser you are using is outdated!

You may not be getting all you can out of your browsing experience
and may be open to security risks!

Consider upgrading to the latest version of your browser or choose on below: