This week, the American Cancer Society lowered the recommended age for colorectal cancer screening to 45 out of 50 for most individuals, based on data collected by a team commissioned by a researcher at the University of Colorado Cancer Center ] Andrea Dwyer, director of the Colorado Colorectal Screening Program at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, used mathematical models to determine that 45 was the "sweet spot age" for colorectal cancer screening, which was able to catch the disease earlier, without a major one add financial and physical burden to patients and providers.
The American Cancer Society announced Wednesday the new guideline for people at intermediate risk.
"Over the past 1
The data that influenced the American Cancer Society found that the lower screening age increased the benefit Screening would lead to about 6 percent and would require an increase in colonoscopy by 17 percent. This would be a little less than an extra colonoscopy for the average person.
Nick Roper, spokesman for Kaiser Permanente Colorado Branch, said the health care provider would have to review the new data and decide if the new recommended guideline makes sense for their
Currently, Kaiser recommends that patients at intermediate risk from age 50 years with either one annual test for blood in the stool or a colonoscopy every 10 years.
Dr. Jay Lee, Kaiser Permanente Internal Medicine physician, said he had diagnosed patients with colon cancer in their early 40s and late 30s, without even family histories of the condition.
"It happens," Lee said. "It makes sense that we have to look at this."
Colorado is diagnosed with approximately 1,900 new cases of colorectal cancer every year, and approximately 670 people die of it each year, according to data from the Central Cancer Registry 2016
About 14 percent of colorectal cancers in Colorado are in people under the age of 50 diagnosed.
The incidence of colorectal cancer has been continuously decreasing in the past two decades in people over age 55, as the polyps are removed and changes in exposure to risk factors, said Dwyer. But since 1994, the number of colon cancer cases under 50 years has increased by 51 percent.
The American Cancer Society is the first organization to recommend colorectal cancer screening for men and women of average risk of all races and ethnic groups.
Dwyer and Lee emphasized that anyone with a higher risk of colon cancer, such as the family history of the disease, should talk to their doctor and seek previous screenings. Anyone who has symptoms of colorectal cancer such as blood in the stool, abdominal pain, unexplained weight loss of 10 or more pounds, or feeling sick should talk to his doctor to screen, Lee said.
"It is essential that they follow, because about half the time, patients do not follow up with screening, even if they were recommended," said Dwyer.