(HealthDay News) — As rates of screening have increased, there has been a significant decline in the incidence of colorectal cancer in the United States, according to research published online June 3 in Cancer.

Daniel X. Yang, of the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues examined incidence data for colorectal cancer during the screening period from 1986 to 2010.

The researchers found that the percentage of adults aged 50 years or older who underwent screening for colorectal cancer increased from 34.8 percent in 1987 to 66.1 percent in 2010. During this period, the incidence of late-stage colorectal cancer decreased from 118 to 74 cases per 100,000 population (P < 0.001). The incidence of early-stage colorectal cancer decreased from 77 to 67 cases per 100,000 population (P < 0.001). Over the past three decades in the United States, colorectal screening was associated with a reduction of about 550,000 cases of colorectal cancer.

“There has been a significant decline in the incidence of colorectal cancer in the United States, particularly for late-stage disease, during a time of increasing rates of screening,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to biomedical and oncology companies.

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