Low colon cancer screening rates putting Americans at risk

Jul 13, 2011

Screening for colon cancer can allow patients to catch ailments earlier

An alarming percentage of older Americans say they have not been screened for colon cancer, putting them at risk for an ailment that could put their family in a financial bind, making it important to secure a term life insurance policy.

Data from the Colon Cancer Alliance and Quest Diagnostics revealed 31 percent of men and women over the age of 50 say they've never once been screened for colon cancer. Furthermore, 28 percent of respondents say their doctor or medical professional has never recommended they be screened for the disease, something that may suggest the medical community is lacking when it comes to spreading awareness.

Fifteen percent said they couldn't afford the screening, 10 percent said they did not have health insurance and 9 percent said they were too embarrassed to bring it up with their doctor.

"Our survey suggests that while more men and women of screening age are being tested than in the past, a significant screening gap remains," said Andrew Spiegel, CEO of the Colon Cancer Alliance. "Health care professionals have a tremendous opportunity to educate patients about screening options."

An early death to colon cancer could leave an individual's family financially devastated without life insurance. Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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