The American Urological Association, which in recent years has defended the PSA screening test, has changed it’s position and no longer recommends routine testing for men.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Despite evidence and guidelines supporting the value of screening for this disease, rates of screening for colorectal cancer are consistently lower than those for other types of cancer, particularly breast and cervical. Although the screening rates in the target population of adults over age 50, have increased from 20-30 percent in 1997 to nearly 55 percent in 2008 – the rates are still too low. An NIH state-of-the-science panel was convened this week to identify ways to further increase the use and quality of colorectal cancer screening in the United States.
“We recognize that some may find colorectal cancer screening tests to be unpleasant and time-consuming. However, we also know that recommended screening strategies reduce colorectal cancer deaths,” said Dr. Donald Steinwachs, panel chair, and professor and director of the Health Services Research and Development Center at the Johns Hopkins University. “We need to find ways to encourage more people to get these important tests.”
The panel found that the most important factors associated with being screened are having insurance coverage and access to a regular health care provider. Their recommendations highlighted the need to remove out-of-pocket costs for screening tests.
NIH to Hold Press Telebriefing on February 4 following State-of-the-Science Conference on Colorectal Cancer Screening
Although colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, screening for this disease is currently underutilized among eligible individuals. An NIH State-of-the-Science Conference on Enhancing Use and Quality of Colorectal Cancer Screening will be held February 2-4, 2010.
At the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) last month, researchers from GeneNews Corp. reported that the probability of colorectal cancer (CRC) in asymptomatic patients can be accurately stratified by RNA expression profiling of six genes in whole blood . The company focuses on developing blood-based biomarker tests for the early detection of diseases and personalized health management.