The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has updated its 2008 recommendations for colorectal cancer screenings, according to a JAMA article.
The USPSTF reviewed the evidence on the effectiveness of screening with colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, computed tomography colonography, the guaiac-based fecal occult blood test, the fecal immunochemical test, the multitargeted stool DNA test and the methylated SEPT9 DNA test.
Here are four key notes:
1. The task force concluded that CRC screenings for average-risk, asymptomatic adults, between the ages of 50 to 75 years, is of substantial net benefit. Thus, the USPSTF recommends CRC screening for adults "starting at age 50 years and continuing until age 75 years."
2. The task force also recommends that the decision to screen for CRC in adults aged 76 to 85 years should be an individual one. The decision should take into account the patient's overall health and prior screening history.
3. There are multiple screening strategies, however, there is no objective data showing that any of the strategies offer a greater benefit than the other.
4. CRC is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States and screening is a substantially underused preventive health strategy, according to the article.