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Researchers: Colorectal Cancer Screening Saves Lives

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(Photo by Ed Fischer) Lynne Adkins
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By Lynne Adkins

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Local researchers are trying to find out what the medical community can do to encourage people to get screened for colorectal cancer, because screening saves lives.

Dr. Ron Myers, a professor of medical oncology at Thomas Jefferson University, wanted to find the best way to get people to undergo the colonoscopy or an at home blood stool test.

“In Pa. the costs associated with treating late stage colon cancer are really substantial, $200 million or more a year, when you have a screening test that, if we could get screening rates to 70 percent, can cut those costs in half,” said Dr. Myers.

He found the most effective method to get people screened is to mail them the blood stool test and information about colonoscopy, then follow up by phone to help them navigate the test they chose.

He admits there is a cost, but it will save lives and, in the long run, money.

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