American Cancer Society: Start Colon Cancer Screening At 45, Not 50

Pearl Mccarthy
June 3, 2018

Clinicians should individualize colorectal cancer screening decisions for individuals ages 76 through 85, based on patient preferences, life expectancy, health status, and prior screening history.

The G-BA therefore commissioned the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) to update a report from the year 2013 in an accelerated process known as "rapid report" on the following question: Can people under 55 years of age with a family history of colorectal cancer benefit from a screening test?

Dr. Cedrek McFadden is a physician with GHS.

The causes of this increase is not full understood, "but it has been observed in all adult age groups below the age when screening has historically been offered", the cancer society said in its news release.

That's why he was thrilled to hear the American Cancer Society recommend that colorectal cancer screening should start at age 45.

Shares of diagnostic company Exact Sciences Corp, which makes Cologuard devices that helps detect colorectal cancer, jumped more than 10 percent after the guideline was revealed.

Yet "there are many ways you can screen for colon cancer beyond colonoscopy, and we can find a way no matter how squeamish people are", Azad said. "Whichever way we can get a patient to get tested for this cancer is the right one to do", said Dr. Anthony.

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The good news is that patient's don't necessarily need an invasive colonoscopy at 45, just the screening will suffice in order to see if further tests should be done.

Past year colorectal cancer claimed more than 50,000 lives in the United States. Unlike classic optical colonoscopy, no sedation is needed, so virtual CT colon cancer screening can be performed in the middle of a work day.

To make the updated guidelines, researchers conducted a systematic review of published studies on colorectal cancer screening strategies. These cancers are treatable if caught early.

However, there are several different options available, including genetic testing and stool testing.

Another option is a multi-target stool DNA test, which is done every three years and also involves collecting a sample at home and sending it in. She said that test needs to be done every year and should be followed up with a colonoscopy if there are any positive results.

For now, the task force still strongly recommends people begin screening at age 50. Now 1 in 3 adults, over age 50, are not getting tested as recommended.

Exercising more and eating less processed foods can reduce a person's chances of getting this type of cancer. He believes, eventually, the recommended age will be even younger.

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