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Am Fam Physician. 2006;74(6):1048

CDC Recommends Increased Awareness for Colorectal Screening

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has compared data from the 2002 and 2004 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) surveys to determine the number of persons receiving screening for colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths. The full report was published in the March 24, 2006, issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and is available athttp://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5511a4.htm.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that persons older than 50 years receive fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) every year, sigmoidoscopy or double-contrast barium enema every five years, or colonoscopy every 10 years. Participants in the BRFSS surveys were asked if they had received FOBT within the previous year or underwent sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy within the previous 10 years. Overall, the percentage of participants who reported receiving colorectal cancer screening increased from 54.4 percent in 2002 to 57.3 percent in 2004. Although the number of persons receiving FOBT declined, the number of those receiving lower endoscopy increased. The CDC recommends continued measures to encourage screening to reduce mortality rates from colorectal cancer.

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