Colorectal cancer screening gets boost
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 15, 2007
A personalized mailing from primary care physicians to patients who are not up to date on their colorectal cancer screenings significantly improved screening rates, according to a new study in the Nov. 1 Cancer, an American Cancer Society journal.
Researchers from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia determined that after two years, screening rates reached 48% among the 386 patients who got the most intensive intervention -- screening and educational materials as well as a phone follow-up -- compared with 33% of the 387 patients who served as controls and got no information. Mailings that were not personalized and were not accompanied by a phone call also resulted in screening boosts.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer and the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in both men and women in the United States. Since most patients do not become symptomatic until the disease is advanced, early screening is thought to be critical for saving lives.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2007/10/15/hlbf1015.htm.