Colonoscopy? What’s The Need?


Colon cancer is the second major cause of cancer deaths. According to the latest reports from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, less than 50% of Americans who are over the age of 50 have had a screening of the colon done.

Now when this is broken up, the picture that emerges is even clearer. Among the whites, there was no screening done for over 47%, while for the blacks it was over 55%. Among the Hispanics though, the figure goes to a little under 70% and this rises even further when it comes to older people who are not insured.

Many people with Medicare have not had this screening done, not even those with Medicare as well as private insurance.

The data for this survey was accessed from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey which provides detailed information on the use of health care services by Americans. The details include mode of payment, frequency of use and cost.

AHRQ is directly involved in enhancing the quality, efficiency, safety and effectiveness of the health care provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Americans.

It has been recommended by the U.S Preventive Services Task Force that screening for colon cancer is very essential in people over the age of 50. The sad fact of the matter is that this is not done, not even when seniors are covered by Medicare. Considering how fatal this kind of cancer can be, isn’t it time colonoscopies became routine among the older people?


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