New guidelines keep colonoscopy screening age at 50 — 4 insights

The American College of Physicians released a new colorectal cancer screening guideline statement for adults between 50 and 75 years old without symptoms on Nov. 5.

What you should know:

1. The guideline, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, recommends adults between 50 and 75 undergo one of the following:

  • A fecal immunochemical test or high-sensitivity guaiac-based fecal occult blood test every two years
  • A colonoscopy every 10 years
  • A flexible sigmoidoscopy every 10 years with a follow-up FIT every two years

2. The guidelines do not apply to adults with a family history of CRC, inflammatory bowel disease, genetic syndromes that lead to familial cancerous polyps, past CRC or benign polyps, or other risk factors.

3. Researchers found that 67 was the median age for a CRC diagnosis, and because of this adults between 65 and 75 years benefit the most from CRC screenings. Despite this, adults between 50 and 75 years also realize benefits from CRC screenings.

4. The guideline statement bucks recent recommendations to lower the screening age to 45. Those recommendations are based on growing concerns about increasing early-onset CRC rates.

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