ACS Lowers Recommended Colon Cancer Screening Age To 45

Colon cancer screening should begin at 45-American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society's advice puts it out of sync with guidelines from an influential government advisory group, which kept the age at 50 in an update two years ago.

By contrast, the cancer society said the tests are equally acceptable - though worrisome results on any test other than a colonoscopy need to be followed up with a colonoscopy.

"Behind these numbers are real people and real faces, and all of us in the colorectal cancer world and all the gastroenterologists and all the oncologists have been seeing more and more young people who develop this disease", said Dr. Richard Wender, chief cancer control officer at the American Cancer Society, who oversaw the development of the new guidelines. "The best colorectal screening test is the one that gets done". The ACS has more information on colorectal cancer risk factors on its website.

That's one reason the cancer society and preventive services task force recommend screening be considered on a case by case basis after age 75 and stopped after age 85.

The current study worked with the MISCAN model, adjusting the lifetime incidence of colorectal cancer to reflect the most current data, which includes higher incidence younger in the lifespan. Recent studies have shown that the risk of colorectal cancer is double for someone born in 1990 compared to someone born in 1950.

Other expert groups still recommend starting at age 50.

The move comes as a recent stud here showed that there has been a marked increase in colorectal cancer incidence, particularly rectal cancer, among younger individuals.

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The World Health Organization reports colorectal cancer, including colon and rectal cancers, is the second leading cause of death in the USA for cancers affecting men and women. More than 51,000 people died from it that year, as well, making it the third-most common and deadliest form of cancer. "Whether it's 45 or 50, the most important thing is for people to get screened and keep screening".

Colorectal cancer, a malignancy that occurs in the colon or rectum, is a leading cause of cancer deaths. "Greater value was placed on the role of patient preferences and on the potential to increase CRC screening utilization through offering choice in screening test options".

But, the ACS said, the higher rate among people in their early 50s is partly because they have more early cancers detected through screening.

"Even if you're younger, if you're noticing that there's a change in your bowel habits or your stools and that something isn't right, then see your doctor", he said.

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

In 2014, 43 percent of colorectal cancer cases in those under 50 were in adults ages 45 to 49, according to Rebecca L. Siegel, an epidemiologist with the American Cancer Society and the lead author of several reports showing a rise in colorectal cancers in adults as young as their 20s and 30s.

She applauded the move toward earlier screening, saying it "will benefit the general public". But he noted that younger people are also at increased risk.

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