Colon cancer screening should start at 45, group says

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The American Cancer Society, or ACS, says adults should screen for colon cancer starting at age 45.

Previously, the organization recommended screening begin at age 50 for people at average risk.

According to the ACS, new cases of colorectal cancer are occurring at an increasing rate among younger adults. After reviewing the data, experts concluded that a beginning screening age of 45 for adults of average risk will result in more lives saved from colorectal cancer.

The new guidelines were published today in an American Cancer Society journal:

  • People at average risk of colorectal cancer should start regular screening at age 45.
  • People who are in good health and with a life expectancy of more than 10 years should continue regular colorectal cancer screening through the age of 75.

  • People ages 76 through 85 should make a decision with their medical provider about whether to be screened, based on their own personal preferences, life expectancy, overall health, and prior screening history.
  • People over 85 should no longer get colorectal cancer screening.

The guidelines stress that these screening tests must be repeated at regular intervals to be effective. And, if you choose to be screened with a test other than colonoscopy, any abnormal test result must be followed up with a timely colonoscopy to complete the screening process.

You can read more on the new guidelines here.

You can also learn more about colorectal cancer screening at cancer.org/coloncancer.

 

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