(TND) More young adults are getting colorectal cancer screenings, which, according to experts, can save lives.
According to Dr. Jackie Gerhart, “We do a lot of things in our country to manage disease and to take care of it retrospectively, once we already have it.” Additionally, this is an excellent illustration of our efforts to be proactive.”
Preventive Administrations Team brought the prescribed age down to start colorectal disease screenings to 45, from 50.
Because of this, young adults were able to get colonoscopies and other tests without having to pay for them out of pocket.
After the changes to screening guidelines and insurance coverage, screening rates among people between the ages of 45 and 49 more than doubled.
These younger adults had a greater number of cancers and precancerous polyps than any other age group.
Gerhart stated that those polyps and cancers probably existed previously; however, we were unable to identify them because individuals were not being screened.
At the same time, the proportion of people over 50 who were diagnosed with colorectal cancer decreased.
Gerhart is the chief medical officer of Epic Research, which carried out this study. Gerhart practices family medicine.
Epic Research obtained information from thousands of hospitals and clinics’ electronic health records for millions of patients.
Gerhart stated that the diagnoses that have been made as a result of the lowered age recommendation for screenings have been “extraordinarily meaningful.”
In the United States, cancer is the second leading cause of death, and colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer.
If everyone over the age of 45 had a colorectal cancer screening, according to the American Cancer Society, thousands of lives could be saved annually.
The ACS claims that colorectal cancer has a five-year survival rate of over 90% if detected early.
Gerhart wondered what we would find if more people between the ages of 40 and 45 were screened for cancer, since it is clear that people under 45 are at risk.
Would the outcomes be comparable?
She stated that this demonstrates that people frequently receive paid medical care. In this instance, insurance companies started covering the tests for a new group of people.
She stated, “We need to ensure that we are also making those guidelines accessible to people as we do guidelines.”
Additionally, she would like to see our health care guidelines informed by real-world evidence like this report.
National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month coincides with the Epic Research study.
Gerhart urged people to take advantage of the screenings, some of which are less invasive than a colonoscopy and can be performed at home.
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