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Colon cancer. Cancer attacking cell. Colon disease concept. 3d illustration
August 3, 2020

Roadmap to reducing colorectal cancer deaths

We’re outlining a new screening model that combines better risk assessment, more options for noninvasive testing and more targeted referrals for colonoscopy.
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How can we make a real impact on colorectal cancer (CRC) morbidity and mortality? Concerted efforts to increase screening rates have only gotten us to 67% of eligible Americans, while colorectal cancer continues to rank second for cancer deaths in the U.S.

In December 2018, the AGA Center for GI Innovation and Technology gathered 60 experts in CRC screening, research and device development to envision how screening could reach its full potential. The conclusion: To significantly reduce the number of colorectal cancer cases and deaths would require a more structured approach to screening that reaches more people and offers alternatives in addition to colonoscopy.

Read our new white paper outlining this approach: “Roadmap for the Future of Colorectal Cancer Screening in the United States”

Through the development of affordable, highly accurate and easy-to-use noninvasive tests, the new approach would achieve the following:

  • Offer noninvasive testing upfront, such as stool testing, and integrate these options with colonoscopy.
  • Share decision-making with the patient and consider personal risk factors: colonoscopy for those at high risk, or initial noninvasive testing for those at lower risk.
  • Assign colonoscopy when it would provide the greatest benefit, rather than as the default screening method. This would improve access to patients who most need a colonoscopy.
  • Systematically initiate screening, follow-up testing and surveillance, rather than rely only on a physician’s recommendation.
  • Ensure appropriate screening is readily available to at-risk individuals, with no social, racial or economic disparities.

Read the full white paper “Roadmap for the Future of Colorectal Cancer Screening in the United States,” published as an article in press in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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AGA Center for GI Innovation and Technology
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