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HealthWatch: Colon Cancer Rates Decline

colon cancer ratesMEDFORD, Ore. — The American Cancer Society is reporting a 30% decrease in the number of colon cancer cases in the past 10 years.

Researchers say that drop is directly related to the number of colonoscopy’s that are performed.

The American Cancer Society says “screening has the potential to prevent colon cancer because it can often detect pre-cancerous growths, called polyps, in the colon and rectum. Although most polyps will not turn into cancer, removing them can prevent cancer from occurring.”

Colon cancer screening is recommended for adults over the age of 50, and earlier for those with certain risk factors as determined by a doctor.

In 2001, Katie Couric had a colonoscopy performed live on TV.

Since then, colonoscopy use has almost tripled among adults ages 50 to 75, from 19% in 2000 to 55% in 2010.

Read the American Cancer Society’s report here.