Happy 45th birthday, go get a colonoscopy

Eric Oliver - Print  |

The American Cancer Society released new guidelines recommending 45-year-old patients get screened for colorectal cancer in response to a growing number of early-onset cases, Medscape reports.

Here's what you should know:

1. ACS Vice President of Cancer Screening Robert Smith, PhD, said the recommendation was made after several modeling studies showed earlier screening improved life years gained with few negative outcomes.

2. The recommendation varies from what the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends, but ACS believes it is credible nonetheless. USPSTF last updated its guidelines two years ago. USPSTF has previously debated lowering its recommendation to 45 years, but stayed at 50. USPSTF will update its guidelines again in three years.

3. It was the only change ACS made to its recommendations. ACS still recommends patients complete either a high-sensitivity stool-based test or a physician-led visual exam.

4. The full guidance is published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

5. Since 1994, there has been a 51 percent increase in CRC rates in people younger than 50 years old.

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