For a long time, a diagnosis of colon cancer was a near death sentence. In the past 15 years both the mortality rate as well as the incidence of colon cancer has dropped significantly. Just in the past 10 years, 30 percent fewer people have been diagnosed. The mortality rate has decreased most rapidly in the past 10 years, decreasing at a rate of 3 percent per year, according to the American Cancer Society.
Increased screenings that discover early pre-cancerous issues along with changes in diet are largely responsible for the positive trend. But new therapies are also being investigated, some of which are being tested and explored here in San Antonio.
More than 70,000 people will be diagnosed with colon cancer this year.
Where are we in the fight against this killer cancer? When should people be screened, and why have 20 million Americans that should have been screened this year skipped it?
- Dr. Deva Mahalingam, cancer researcher, gastroenterologist at the Cancer Therapy Research Center