Colorectal Cancer Screening: The Old and the New

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Abstract of Journal Article -- February 2001

Symposium on Cancer: What Primary Care Physicians Need to Know

By John J. Ziebert, MD

As the second leading cancer killer of Americans, colorectal cancer represents a serious health threat to all Americans. All health care providers and patients should demand colorectal cancer screening, which has been shown to decrease the incidence and mortality of the disease through the detection and removal of the cancer's precursor lesion, the adenomatous polyp. Colonoscopy is the most effective screening tool because it identifies and treats more polyps than any other screening tool available today. However, cost issues have led to considerable controversy regarding its universal application as a screening tool.

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