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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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Get tested for colorectal cancer, a highly preventable disease

Get tested for colorectal cancer, a highly preventable disease

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, a time when survivors, caregivers, and advocates join together to educate the public about this dangerous but highly preventable disease.

Louisiana has the 4th highest colorectal cancer death rate in the country.

Why are so many people in our state dying of colorectal cancer? Only about 64% of people with average risk age 50+ are getting screened, despite the fact that preventative cancer screenings are now covered by insurance.

The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable has set the goal of getting 80% of people age 50+ screened by 2018. Reaching the goal of 80 by 18 would save thousands of lives and millions of dollars in Louisiana.

Louisiana has spent approximately $368,994,122 on treatments related to colorectal cancer.

If the goal of getting 80% of people screened by 2018 is reached, Louisiana could avert approximately 3,500 deaths due to colorectal cancer, and save millions of dollars associated with treatment costs.

This year, an estimated 135,430 people in the U.S. are expected to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and over 50,260 will die from this disease.

In Louisiana, 2,150 will be diagnosed and 830 are expected to die of the disease.

According to the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts & Figures 2017, colorectal cancer incidences rates have been declining for several decades due to changing patterns in risk factors and the uptake of screening.

However, trends differ by age. During the most recent 10 years of data (2004 to 2013), incidence rates declined by about 3% per year among adults 50 years of age and older but increased by 2% per year among those younger than age 50, largely driven by an increase in rectal cancer.

For signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer, visit symptoms .