Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Thankfully, it is also one of the most treatable and curable cancers, if detected early. Unfortunately, a high percentage of late stage colorectal cancers are fatal, with the American Cancer Society citing a five year survival rate of Stage IV cancers as low as only 6%. While preventative screening colonoscopies can go a long way in helping to catch cancerous polyps early and save lives, new medical developments in the field of genetic testing can help take colorectal cancer prevention to a new level.
Over the past several years, drug shortages have become an increasingly severe problem for those working throughout the health care industry, as well as for patients who depend on pharmaceuticals every day. Drug shortages are not new, but now hospitals and physicians are having more difficulty finding adequate supplies of drugs to meet the needs of their patients. Some of the drugs that have seen supply problems are those used in colorectal cancer screenings. If we realize the mission of dramatically increasing screening rates among Americans, drug shortages could prove to become an even bigger issue than it is today.
Issue Brief 7 - Take Advantage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Preventive Care Clause
Considering one in 20 Americans will develop colorectal cancer at some point in their lives, colorectal cancer screenings are vitally important as a preventative measure. Because colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, screenings have never been more important. Fortunately, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which passed Congress in 2010, has markedly improved access to screenings.