ACS Updates Colorectal Cancer Screening to Start at Age 45

According to new guidelines released on Wednesday most U.S. adults should begin getting screened for colon cancer when they turn 45

According to new guidelines released on Wednesday most U.S. adults should begin getting screened for colon cancer when they turn 45

If you're in your mid-forties, you might want to start thinking about scheduling a colorectal cancer screening, according new guidelines announced by the American Cancer Society.

"The number of patients being diagnosed prior to the age of 50 has increased significantly", said Dr. Bert O'Neil, medical oncologist at IU Health.

Dr. Cedrek McFadden is a physician with GHS.

The American Cancer Society has changed its recommendations for the age when you should start getting colorectal cancer screenings. Colon cancer affects men and women of all racial and ethnic groups.

Colorectal cancer is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer among adults in this country.

The cancer society says that lowering the age of screening to 45 should help the populations that are at higher than normal risk as well as others of average risk.

One of those younger colorectal cancer patients is Lari Johnston of Chicago, who's now 50.

The new guideline does not prioritize among screening test options.

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"We know that obesity's associated with an increased incidence of many cancers, including colorectal cancer, and the obesity epidemic remains an important and growing problem in the US".

The data that influenced the American Cancer Society found that the lower screening age would result in about a 6 percent increase in the benefit of screening and would require a 17 percent increase in colonoscopies.

Time will tell whether other leading health organizations follow in the American Cancer Society's footsteps with recommending screening for adults younger than 50.

"I wasn't supposed to get colon cancer no one in my family has colon cancer", Kyrkostas said. That produced a result that showed the lifesaving potential of earlier screening, the group said. With early detection, these cancers have high cure rates.

Another option is a multitarget stool DNA test, which is done every three years and involves collecting a sample at home and sending it in. Adults aged 45 years and older with an average CRC risk are advised to undergo regular screening with a high-sensitivity stool-based test or structural (visual) examination, depending on patient preference and availability of the tests.

With these new findings, she suggests people refer to their insurance company and doctor to find out when they should get screened.

Exact Sciences Chief Executive Officer Kevin Conroy said Cologuard is a cheaper way to screen younger people. He believes, eventually, the recommended age will be even younger.

The same tests are recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a panel that reviews evidence and issues advice for a variety of screenings and treatments.

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