Grin and bare it: colonoscopies save lives

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A new study reveals that fewer Americans are developing colorectal cancer (CRC). Between 2003 and 2007, the rate of new CRC cases in the U.S. fell by over 13 percent, representing nearly 66,000 fewer cancer cases and 32,000 fewer CRC deaths during this period. CDC director Thomas Frieden told Reuters that half of the decline in CRC cases can be attributed to increased screening, which rose from 52 percent in 2002 to 65 percent in 2010. One thing we know is that screening works, he said. But Frieden also warns that CRC screening may be leveling off, mainly because doctors are failing to recommend it to their patients beginning at age 50.

Noting this still inadequate rate of screening, ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross stresses that anyone with risk factors, which include being over the age 50, African American, or having a family history of CRC, should consult with their physician about getting screened regularly. CRC is the nation s second most deadly cancer after lung cancer and causes more than 53,000 deaths per year.