KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Colon Cancer Rates Plunge After Screenings Increase, Study Reports

As use of colonoscopy has increased, the number of colon cancer diagnoses dropped 30 percent in the past decade in Americans over the age of 50.

The Wall Street Journal: More Screenings Put Dent In Colon Cancer
The incidence of colon cancer, declining since the mid-1980s, plunged a further 30% last decade among Americans 50 and older as more people had colonoscopies, a new study found. The drop in colon-cancer death rates accelerated as well, falling about 3% a year between 2001 and 2010, compared with 2% a year in the previous decade, according to the American Cancer Society study of government data (Beck, 3/17).

USA Today: Colon Cancer Rates Drop Sharply Due To Screenings
The biggest declines in colon cancer incidence were in people over age 65, who qualify for Medicare, which makes colon cancer screenings available for free. Those who have other forms of insurance also can get free colon cancer screenings and other preventive services, due to the Affordable Care Act (Szabo, 3/17).

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