(NNPA) - We’re all familiar with messages like this one: “Men and women aged 50 and older should have regular colorectal cancer screening tests.” We read this message in our community newspapers and hear it on television and radio, and we even see celebrities like Morgan Freeman speaking out about the importance of colorectal cancer screening.
Why is there so much media attention on colorectal cancer screening? Well, here’s a message you might not have seen: over the last decade, in part due to increased screening, rates of new cases and deaths from colorectal cancer have been on the decline. According to the latest Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, if current trends continue, rates of death from colorectal cancer could drop by more than one-third by 2020. And if Americans increase use of colorectal cancer screening, adopt more favorable health behaviors, and obtain optimal treatments, the rate of death from colorectal cancer could decrease 50 percent by 2020.