A new report from the CDC shows that the colorectal cancer rate in the United State has decreased about 3.4% a year between 2003 and 2007. This news is particularly good for, Western Hampton Roads has one of the highest mortality rates from colorectal cancer in the state of Virginia. In fact, Portsmouth, with a rate of 24.8 percent, and Chesapeake, with a rate of 20.4 percent, have mortality rates much higher than the state average of 17 percent.
One possible explanation for this is our local demographic and the fact that colorectal cancer rates are much higher among African Americans. In fact, African Americans have the highest incidence of mortality rates from colorectal cancer compared to any other racial group. Nearly 90 percent of all colorectal cancer cases would be preventable if everyone followed the guidelines for screening.
Screening is essential, as most patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer display no symptoms of the disease until it is too late. The CDC suggests that better and more frequent screening accounted for 50% of the decline in mortality, with the largest declines occurring in states with some of the highest screening rates. The national screening rate increased from 52% in 2002 to 65% in 2010. Still, about one in three people between the ages of 50 and 75 are not up to date with recommended colorectal cancer screening, CDC said. National guidelines recommend African- Americans begin their screenings at age 45, and other populations are advised to begin their screenings at age 50. Those with a family history of colorectal cancer should talk with their doctor about when to begin screenings.
It you’re behind in your colorectal screening it’s not too late! Call (757) 889-CARE (2273) to schedule a fecal occult blood test, flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy.
Source: Aha News