An effort is underway to increase the rate of screenings for colorectal caner in Iowa to 80% by 2014. Officials from the American Cancer Society and University of Iowa Clinics recently held a discussion on the issue. Cancer Society spokesperson, Bobbie Bohnsack says they are working together on strategies to increase screening.
Bohnsack says the guidelines for colorectal cancer say you should be screened from age 50 on up. She says they’re finding colorectal cancer is the third leading cancer by diagnosis and the third leading cancer that causes deaths and “those are statistics that are very alarming.” She says they need to target the people who are not getting their screening.
She says there are “cancer disparities” in Iowa as African-American men have the highest rate of deaths for colorectal cancer. “So we know we have to introduce strategies that are going to help us get rid of those disparities,” Bohnsack says. One of the things they’ve discussed is putting together a way for health care providers and clinics to help keep people informed.
Bohnsack says they need to get a system in place to be able to track and follow patients who need and are due for screenings. And if they receive a positive screening, to make sure they have the resources available to get the treatment that they need. Individuals from throughout the state met Friday to talk about the issues and Bohnsack says the brainstormed some ideas and will continue working to move them forward.
For more information on colorectal cancer screening, you can go to the American Cancer Society website at: www.cancer.org.