U.S. Colorectal Cancer Screening Industry: Understanding Colorectal Cancer Screening in the United States
U.S. Colorectal Cancer Screening Industry: Understanding Colorectal Cancer Screening in the United States
Colorectal cancer screening is recommended for men and women between the ages of 45 and 75 years old.

U.S. Colorectal Cancer Screening Industry: Understanding Colorectal Cancer Screening in the United States

Who Should Get Screened for Colorectal Cancer?

 

Colorectal cancer screening is recommended for men and women between the ages of 45 and 75 years old. This is the population most at risk of developing colorectal cancer based on statistics and studies. Getting screened regularly within this age range can find precancerous polyps so they may be removed before turning into cancer. It can also find colorectal cancer early when treatment works best.

 

Types of Colorectal Cancer U.S. Colorectal Cancer Screening Industry

 

There are several types of screening tests that can be used to help detect Colorectal Cancer in its early stages. The tests differ in how they are performed and how often they need to be repeated.

 

Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT): This noninvasive test checks for blood in the stool, which could indicate pre-cancer or cancer. The test is done every year.

 

Guaiac-Based Fecal Occult Blood Test (Gfobt): Like FIT but requires special diet and medication restrictions before the test. Done every year.

 

Stool DNA Test: Checks stool sample for certain mutated genes that could indicate cancer. Done every 3 years.

 

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy: Allows the doctor to examine inside of rectum and lower colon using a thin flexible tube. Done every 5 years.

 

Colonoscopy: Allows the doctor to examine the entire colon and remove polyps. Considered the “gold standard” screening test. Done every 10 years.

 

CT Colonography (Virtual Colonoscopy): Uses CT scans to check for polyps and cancer. May be an option if unable to have colonoscopy but also done every 5 years.

 

Screening Guidelines and Recommendations

 

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and multiple medical organizations provide screening guidelines based on risk factors:

 

- Average-risk individuals should get screened regularly beginning at age 45 through age 75. Stool-based tests or visual exams (sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy) are acceptable options.

 

- Higher-risk individuals such as those with family history or certain genetic conditions should get screened earlier — sometimes beginning at age 40 — and/or more frequently using colonoscopy.

 

- Individuals over 75 can stop screening if prior screenings have been negative and they are not high risk. But should discuss continued screening with their doctor based on health status.

 

Removing Polyps Prevents Cancer Development

 

Getting colonoscopies and other exams allows doctors to find and remove precancerous polyps before they turn into cancer. Polyps develop slowly over many years so finding and removing them blocks cancer from developing. Screening colonoscopies often find polyps in about 25% of people with no symptoms. Preventing and curing precancerous polyps is one of the top reasons colorectal cancer rates have declined in recent decades as more people get appropriate screenings.

Perceptions and Reality of U.S. Colorectal Cancer Screening Industry Tests

 

Individuals may avoid or delay screening due to misperceptions about how uncomfortable or embarrassing the tests really are in most cases. While the prep for colonoscopy requires a special diet and laxatives to clear the bowels, the actual exam only takes around 20–30 minutes while sedated and most people are able to go home the same day. Other screening tests like FIT and stool DNA tests involve no procedures — just collecting a stool sample at home. Visualizing the colon during exams allows doctors to immediately remove any polyps if detected. Understanding the reality behind colorectal cancer screening can help overcome fears and reduce barriers to testing.

 

Insurance Coverage and Access to Care

 

Most private health insurance plans and Medicare cover recommended colorectal cancer screenings fully as preventive services. This helps address high upfront costs as a barrier for many. However, access issues still exist for some populations including the uninsured. Community health centers provide screening services on a sliding-fee scale. Nonprofits also offer navigation help and subsidies. Cancer organizations advocate for continued coverage expansion and greater screening rates particularly in rural areas and developing nations. Screening saves lives through early detection but only if at-risk populations get appropriate, affordable and regular testing as advised by medical guidelines.

 

In summary, ongoing colorectal cancer screening as recommended by guidelines provides an important opportunity to detect precancerous polyps and reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer over a person’s lifetime. While no single screening test is perfect, achieving high screening rates nationally as intended can substantially lower the burden of this largely preventable cancer. With proper screening, colorectal cancer remains very treatable and even curable when found in early stages before symptoms develop.

 

Get more insights on this topic: https://www.dailyprbulletin.com/u-s-colorectal-cancer-screening-industry-significant-growth-driven-by-rising-awareness-and-technological-advancements/

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