Colon cancer incidence rates dropped 30% in the last 10 years among adults 50 and older, with the largest decrease in people over age 65, primarily because of a near tripling of colonoscopy use, a review found.
Colonoscopies in adults 50 to 75 increased from 19% in 2000 to 55% in 2010, authors noted. At the same time, the rate of decline among those 65 and older rose from 3.6% per year during 2001-2008 to 7.2% per year during 2008-2010, likely because of universal insurance coverage, the report stated. In 2010, 55% of adults aged 50 to 64 years reported having undergone a recent colorectal cancer screening test, compared with 64% of those aged 65 years and older.
Like incidence, mortality rates also declined within the past decade. From 2001 to 2010, rates decreased by approximately 3% per year in both men and women, compared with declines of approximately 2% per year during the 1990s.
Results appeared online in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. Incidence data were drawn from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries. Mortality data were provided by the National Center for Health Statistics.
The report was released by American Cancer Society researchers as part of a new initiative by the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable to increase screening rates to 80% by 2018.