The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has revised its colorectal cancer screening recommendations to encourage colonoscopy as the preferred method of screening both average-risk and high-risk women for colorectal cancer. ACOG’s previous recommendation was that all women above 50 years of age be screened for colorectal cancer, but no preference was given regarding the specific type of screening instrument. The latest recommendation includes colonoscopy, specifically, because it allows for visualization of the entire colon surface and for removal of precancerous polyps simultaneously.
The most recent national statistics regarding colorectal cancer indicate that its prevalence is slowly declining — a decrease of approximately 2% was noted in both men and women from 2002 to 2004. Researchers speculate that an increase in colonoscopies and more frequent removal of precancerous polyps explains much of that decline. Still, in 2007, an estimated 154,000 Americans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer. The disease will claim the lives of as many as 52,000 Americans in 2007, as well.
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