The number of people getting colon cancer has fallen by 30 percent over the past decade in people over 50, and much of that progress is due to screening, a study finds.
But a substantial number of people in that target age group still haven't been screened, and a consortium of organizations say they're pushing to get 80 percent of those people screened at least once by 2018.
The decline in new cases of colorectal cancer is accelerating, with declines of 3 percent a year in the past decade, according to published Monday in the journal CA. That progress is a result of people having gotten screened years before — and having precancerous polyps removed before they become cancer.
The biggest improvements were in people ages 65 and over, who are also the ones most at risk of dying from colon cancer. (Avoid a billing mistake by making sure your doctor will bill the colonoscopy as a screening test rather than a diagnostic one.)
Given the good news, public health officials are zeroing in on the 30 percent or so of people ages 50 to 75 who haven't been screened. That's about 23 million people.
Read the entire story at npr.org.