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Screening for early detection of Colorectal Cancer

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The condition in its early stages may not be noticed by the person concerned, but can be detected in a number of ways. The United States Preventative Services Task Force recommends that every citizen aged between 50 and 75 be tested, thus prolonging the lives of 60 % of those affected. Those over this age can request a test. Detection can be done by testing stools for the presence of blood. This is done either using the chemical guaiac or by seeking for antibodies. Somewhat more invasive is a sigmoidoscopy, i.e. the lower bowel is examined using a flexible tube. A colonoscopy is a more extensive version of this, but searches the whole colon and may involve the removal of any suspicious polyps. This would normally be a follow up to other tests. In some cases a barium enema is used and the results x-rayed. In some cases a complete stool is sent for analysis. There is continued research on this topic. Pertinent issues to the delivery of healthcare raised by this topic. Because this condition is so prevalent in American society it is important that as much as possible to cut its incidence and severity as a life threatening condition. This can be done be early detection so that any polyps can be removed before they become cancerous. Therefore it is necessary that all those aged 50 – 70 have regular checks – perhaps every two years. If this is to be achieved the subject will need publicity, education, central organization and funding. Another area that requires public education would be in the area of diet. Americans tend to consume a high fat, high dairy food diet. Something similar to the ‘5 a day’ campaign in the United Kingdom . …
Something similar to the ‘5 a day’ campaign in the United Kingdom – that is the promotion of the idea that everyone needs to eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day. ( NHS Choices , 5 a Day). Putnam, Allshouse and Kantor (2002) report a huge jump in average calorie intake within the United States over the last 25 years, this despite a recent tendency to use lower fat options. According to a report cited by Barone, (2007) those with colon cancer who ate a healthier diet, i.e. one based upon fruit, vegetables, poultry and fish, stand a better chance of total recovery than those who continue to consume lots of red meat, fats, refined carbohydrates, fat and sugar. The latter have a higher chance of the cancer recurring according to a study by Meyerhardt. Government Involvement In 2010 the NIH Consensus Development Program, part of the United States Human and Health Services, produced a statement entitled ‘Enhancing Use and Quality of Colorectal Cancer Screening.’ This document covers such things as trends in screening and how this might be improved. It considers such things as how screening can be monitored and what research is required and so indicates that this topic is one of concern to government agencies. The aim was ‘To provide health care providers, patients, and the general public with a responsible assessment of currently available data on enhancing use and quality of colorectal cancer screening.’ In 2004 the American Food and Drug Administration approved new treatment for advanced colorectal cancer. However more new treatments have since become available and require assessment and acceptance. Literature National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of