Colorectal cancer screening should start at age 45, not 50

Colorectal cancer screening should start at age 45, not 50

Colorectal cancer screening should start at age 45, not 50

Today's action by the American Cancer Society does not mean colorectal cancer screening tests will now be covered by insurance plans.

"There's no way I would've ever imagined being here at 35", Michael Fiske said.

Colon cancer signs can include persistent cramps and changes in bowel habits, along with bloody stools. As an advocacy organization, we have heard the urgency from our survivor community to lower the screening age.

It also recommends people who are in good health and with a life expectancy of more than 10 years continue regular colorectal cancer screening through the age of 75. Rich Wender. "The best test is the test that gets done". Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC) has been following and supporting research efforts examining early-age colorectal cancer for many years.

Dr. Robin B. Mendelsohn, a gastroenterologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NY, says there's been an "alarming" increase in cancer among younger adults.

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Another widely respected medical group which issues screening recommendations, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), decided not to recommended in 2016 that colon cancer screening start at 45, saying any additional benefit would be "modest".

The models show that starting a colonoscopy earlier, at the age of 45, increased life-years by 6.2 percent compared to beginning at 50, as we do now. Only about two-thirds of people 50 and older have been following screening guidelines. Dwyer is a co-author of the Cancer paper and works collaboratively with the organization Fight Colorectal Cancer. They say recently, they've been diagnosing colon cancer in younger patients than in years past. Those at higher risk, due to their personal or family history, may be urged to get screening earlier or more often.

The new recommendations apply to people at average risk for colon and rectal cancer. The change comes in response to a 51 percent rise in colon and rectal cancers since 1994 in adults younger than 50.

"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.

A group representing three professional societies of gastroenterologists said in 2017 that African Americans should start screening at 45, because they are at increased risk, but that others should wait until age 50.

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Like the 2013 final report, the current rapid report therefore concluded that the benefit of screening for under 55-year-olds with a family history of colorectal cancer is unclear.

Dr. Nilofer Saba Azad, associate professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, agrees with the newly updated guidelines.

She applauded the move toward earlier screening, saying it "will benefit the general public".

In a young person, Cercek noted, gastrointestinal symptoms likely stem from an infection or other non-cancerous condition.

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