Americans wait until 58 to begin CRC screening, AmSurg data says — 5 insights

Despite guidelines to begin colorectal cancer screening at 45, newly released data said Americans put off their initial screening until 58.

Nashville, Tenn.-based AmSurg released data from 1 million patient encounters over the past five years in recognition of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

What you should know:

1. In 2019, more than 140,000 people will be diagnosed with CRC. Combined with increasing early-onset CRC rates, the findings are troubling.

2. CRC can be in an advanced stage if patients wait until their late 50s to begin screening.

3. AmSurg Medical Director John Popp, MD, said, "Having a screening during those 13 years can be life-changing. Screening is the most effective way to detect, prevent and treat colorectal cancer. These cancers typically develop during a 10- to 15-year period, and with early and regular screenings, growths can be removed before they become cancerous."

4. Past American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy President Colleen Schmitt, MD, asserted screening colonoscopy continues to be the gold standard for CRC detection. She said, "It is the most comprehensive [method] because we can both detect and remove precancerous polyps during the procedure. In addition to being safe, colonoscopies enable us to evaluate the overall health of the colon and help patients treat any underlying conditions."

5. AmSurg centers perform approximately 1 million colonoscopies per year. Visit AmSurg's website dedicated to CRC prevention, here.

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