Most colon cancers in New York discovered in later stages, American Cancer Society says
KINGSTON, N.Y. — More than half of the instances of colon cancer detected in residents statewide — including in Ulster, Dutchess and Greene counties — are found in later stages of the disease, a sobering statistic that, according to the American Cancer Society, suggests “the majority of New Yorkers still aren’t getting the message that early detection of colon cancer could save their lives.”
The American Cancer Society of New York and New Jersey on Monday released it’s report, “Missing the Message: A report on Colon Cancer Detection in New York in 2012.”
The report indicates that instances of colon cancer found in later stages of the disease dropped statewide from 60.2 percent based on data from 1994 to 1998 to 57 percent based on data from 2004 to 2008.
At the same time, data shows that those over 50 having colon cancer screening rose from 56 percent in 2004 to 70 percent in 2010.
In Ulster County, the incidence rate of colon cancer dropped by 19.1 percent from 67.5 cases per 100,000 (1994-98) to 54.6 cases per 100,000 (2004-08).
Greene County saw its incidence rate drop 2.5 percent from 63.2 per 100,000 to 61.6 per 100,000.
Dutchess County saw its incidence rate drop 18.5 percent, from 60.4 instances per 100,000 to 49.2 instances per 100,000.
At the same time, however, Dutchess, unlike Ulster and Greene, saw the percentage of late stage colon cancer detection rise by 2.7 percent, to 61.5 percent from 59.9 percent.
Lillian Jones, regional vice president for the Hudson Valley Region, said that because more people are having colonoscopies, which are the recommended screening exam for colon cancer, the incidence rates are going down.
But there are still 50 percent of the people who are not getting early screening, she said. Continued...
“The use of the test has dramatically increased in the last 10 years so that our rates are going down,” said Jones. “Usually when people come in with symptoms of cancer, are they’re going to find later stage diagnosis.”
She said factors which tend to increase the rates of later stage detection include lack of transportation and lack of health insurance.
With early detection, the five-year survival rate for colon cancer is 90 percent, she said. Once its metastasized outside the colon, the five-year survival rate drops to 68 percent and once it’s spread to distant parts of the body, that rate drops to 10 percent, she said.
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