With the arrival of March, Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, faculty and staff in the Division of Gastroenterology in the Department of Internal Medicine are redoubling their efforts to spread the word about the importance of screening, especially in younger individuals and those with a family history of colorectal cancer. illness.
Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of death in the United States. However, many people are still unaware of the role that screening plays in reducing the risk of developing the disease.
“This cancer is caught early, has an excellent prognosis, and screening has been shown to reduce incidence and mortality,” said Xavier Llor, MD, professor of medicine (gastroenterology), Yale University School of Medicine. Medical director of the Cancer Screening and Prevention Program and the Colorectal Cancer Prevention Program at Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center.
Despite the continued overall decline in colorectal cancer, the latest statistics are worrying, Lalor said. According to the latest report from the American Cancer Society, the proportion of cases among those under 55 years of age has increased and the progression against colorectal cancer as a whole has slowed.
Llor recommends that health care providers begin the discussion with patients at age 40, to increase their chances of having screening by 45. Individuals who have a parent, sibling, or child with colorectal cancer should begin screening early, at age 40, he said.
It takes time and repeated reminders for many people to finally get a colorectal cancer screening. If we promote awareness together, with the help of general practitioners, we can make a difference.”
Xavier Llor, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine (Gastroenterology), Yale University School of Medicine