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Study: Colon Cancer Screening Often Overused in Older Patients

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One measure of quality care in gastroenterology is the appropriate administration of colon cancer screening, starting in most patients around age 50 and then at various intervals depending on the baseline screenings findings. Appropriate screening also means not recommending it to those who will not benefit, such as older patients whose life expectancy is not greater than 10 more years.

A recent study, however, finds that older adults with limited life expectancy frequently receive colon cancer screening, while many ages 65 to 75 with a 10-year or greater life expectancy are not screened.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society,is based on a survey completed by 7,747 individuals age 65 and older. It showed that more than half of those age 75 and older, as well as more than half of those not expected to live 10 more years, received colon cancer screening. Conversely, nearly 40 percent of those between 65 and 75 and those with a life expectancy of 10 or more years had not undergone recent screening.

Age is only one factor physicians consider when determining how often a patient should be screened for colon cancer. But if you have any doubts about the frequency and timing of your or a loved ones exam, do not hesitate to ask for an explanation.

Posted in Colon Cancer on January 20, 2016

Medical Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute for the advice of a physician. Click here for additional information: Health After 50 Disclaimer

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