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Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, reports the National Cancer Institute. It’s important to begin screening for colorectal cancer starting around age 50. Your doctor can use a colonoscopy to check for cancerous growths in your colon. They will also check for polyps, a type of noncancerous growth. Certain types of polyps can develop into cancer at a later time. Ask your doctor how often you should have a colonoscopy conducted.
Since the late 1970s, the federal Healthy People Initiative has been a visible component of the United States’ approach to improving population health. In each decade, a new version of Healthy People is issued, featuring updated goals and identifying topic areas and quantifiable objectives for health improvement during the succeeding ten years, with assessment at that point of progress or lack thereof. Progress has been limited to many objectives, leading to concerns about the effectiveness of Healthy People in shaping outcomes in the context of a decentralized and uncoordinated US health system. Healthy People 2020 gives more prominence to health promotion and preventive approaches and adds a substantive focus on the importance of addressing social determinants of health. A new expanded digital interface facilitates use and dissemination rather than bulky printed books as produced in the past. The impact of these changes to Healthy People will be determined in the coming years.