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As many as one out of every three adults in the U.S. do not receive regular colon cancer screening, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The paper indicates that higher testing rates could lead to fewer deaths from the disease.
Agency officials said that colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death among cancers that occur in both men and women. In 2007, more than 53,000 people died from the condition.
However, these deaths were largely avoidable. The CDC estimates that between 2003 and 2007, 66,000 colon cancer cases were prevented by testing and 32,000 lives were saved. An additional 1,000 lives could be saved if the CDC's target of getting 70.5 percent of U.S. adults tested is met by 2020.
While colorectal cancer can be deadly when it is left untreated, it can be prevented relatively easily. Tumors usually start as polyps in the colon that can be painlessly cut out during a colon cancer test. Doing this essentially eliminates any risk of developing the condition for several years. This is why the CDC is pushing for more people to seek colon cancer testing.
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