February 28, 2017

MORE SEXUAL THAN HEALTH CARE:

Why Are More Young Americans Getting Colon Cancer? (Richard Harris, 2/28/17, NPR)


Dr. H. Gilbert Welch, a professor of medicine at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice, says what look like additional cancers in people under 50 may simply be cases that are being diagnosed earlier than they would have been. Some people are getting colonoscopies for reasons other than cancer screening these days, and doctors are surely coming upon early cases of colon cancer they might not have turned up so soon.

There's some evidence to back that claim: While the rate of new cases of colorectal cancer has been climbing in under-50 Americans since the mid-1990s, the death rate among that group has remained remarkably flat. And death rates may be the more telling statistic.

Something similar happened with breast cancer in the 1980s -- there was a temporary spike in the number of breast cancers diagnosed, as large numbers of women went in for mammography screening for the first time. But death rates didn't rise, and incidence rates of breast cancers fell again after that uptick.

Posted by at February 28, 2017 12:01 PM

  

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