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45 Is the New 50 (for Colorectal Cancer Screening)

March 9, 2022

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ACHI Staff

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In his latest monthly column for Talk Business & Politics, ACHI Health Policy Director Craig Wilson uses the occasion of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month to discuss the importance of getting screened for the disease, which is expected to kill about 560 Arkansans in 2022.

Formerly recommended for people 50 and older, colorectal cancer screening is now recommended for people at average risk beginning at age 45.

“Screening is the key to reducing colorectal cancer deaths,” Wilson writes. “New affordable, non-invasive, take-home options for screening have been added to the traditional colonoscopy to encourage more detection. However, screening rates remain low compared to rates for breast and cervical cancer screenings. This is due to multiple barriers, including patient fear or embarrassment, knowledge gaps, scheduling difficulties, language or cultural differences, or financial barriers.”

A report by ACHI and the national nonprofit organization Fight Colorectal Cancer identified financial barriers to colorectal cancer screening that some patients have experienced in Arkansas. See the report and other information about the disease on our website.