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Colon Cancer Screening Should Begin At 45 - American Cancer Society

Colon Cancer Screening Should Begin At 45 - American Cancer Society

In a press release announcing the update, the ACS said there is an expectation that screening will be regularly performed in adults age 45-49 as it has been recommended for those aged 50 and older.

"There's no way I would've ever imagined being here at 35", Michael Fiske said. "And, by removing those, we prevent colon cancer".

"Whether or not you need a screening will depend on your age, medical history and other risk factors".

Average-risk adults in good health with a life expectancy of greater than 10 years should continue colorectal cancer screening through age 75.

Outside of the cost and the frequency in which a test is recommended to be done, "all these tests are approximately equal in their value and can be offered", Wender said.

Over 140,000 Americans are expected to be given a diagnosis of colon or rectal cancer this year. "Colorectal cancer is really reaching into younger and younger populations".

"The bottom line is that if you regularly participate in colon cancer screening, you have a reduced risk of getting and dying from colon cancer", said Weinberg, who was not involved in the cancer society guidelines.

The American College of Gastroenterology already recommends that black people begin at age 45, due to their relatively higher risk. To catch those typically slow-growing malignancies early, when they can often be cured, most doctors' groups recommend colorectal cancer screening starting at age 50.




In the United States, colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths among cancers that affect both men and women, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The most common screening method is a colonoscopy exam that snakes a tiny camera through the rectum to view the colon to search for abnormal tissue growth. Dwyer is a co-author of the Cancer paper and works collaboratively with the organization Fight Colorectal Cancer.

"For the past, maybe as much as ten years, we're seeing younger and younger patients with advanced colon cancer", O'Neil said.

Those at high risk, especially African Americans, Native Americans, or those like Fiske who have a family history should get screened at an even younger age. "One of the most significant and disturbing developments in CRC is the marked increase in CRC incidence-particularly rectal cancer-among younger individuals", wrote the authors.

"We're finding people that are marathon runners, people that are vegetarians, people that do everything right, and they're still being diagnosed as having colon cancer in their 40's", he said.

But the ACS commissioned a "modeling" study in developing the new guidelines.

The American Cancer Society says the change come sin response to an increase in colorectal cancer rates. But the organization noted the higher rate among older adults may be a result of increased screening in that age group.

She said rates are not only increasing among people in their 40s, but also among those in their 20s and 30s (though the incidence at those ages remains low). Two of the three models showed a "modest" benefit with colonoscopy every 15 years starting at age 45, whereas the third did not.