Undergoing initial CRC screening at 40 cost-effective down the line, study says

Screening patients for colorectal cancer at 40 years old proved to be more cost-effective than starting screening later, according to a study published in Preventive Medicine.

The study, reported on by Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News, used a model to assess the cost effectiveness of screening 40-year-old patients via either colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, fecal occult blood test, fecal immunochemistry test or fecal immunochemical DNA test. Researchers measured incremental cost-effectiveness ratio.

Researchers said each test option was cost-effective. Flexible sigmoidoscopy was the cheapest option at $3,284 per person, while fecal immunochemical DNA testing was the most expensive option at $11,532 per person.

While researchers were hesitant to recommend patients start screening at 40 years old, they did suggest the model should be considered in future model refinement.

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