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New Colorectal Cancer Screening Guidelines: Get tested sooner, expand the test options

Colon cancer is the fourth most common non-skin cancer in America and the second most common cause of cancer death. However, in many intermediate or low risk adults, colon cancer can be detected early and treated with positive results by simply following a proper screening program. With rising incidence rates, the American Cancer Society (ACS) has developed new guidelines to encourage more adults to be screened earlier and to use a wider range of tests.

Concerned with data showing that the colorectal cancer rate among younger Americans is rising sharply, the ACS recommends that all average or low risk adults over the age of 45 should be screened for the disease rather than 50 years previously recommended , Adults in good health with average risk and a life expectancy of more than 1

0 years should continue screening until the age of 75, the ACS recommends. Persons over the age of 76 should consult their physician regarding a plan. High-risk men and women, such as family history of colorectal cancer, may need a more aggressive screening program.

Two-thirds of cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed in adults aged 55 to 84, according to National Cancer Institute statistics from 2011-15. A study published in 2017, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, found that the diagnosis of colorectal cancer in young adults has increased significantly in the last 20 years. In fact, "Age-specific colorectal cancer risk has risen to the level of the 1890s … emphasizing the need for increased awareness among physicians and the public," the study's authors say.

The ACS also recommends that doctors give patients a wider choice of colorectal cancer screening, in the hope that more choice will lead to more screening. "With the saying that the best screening test is the one that is done and done well, the ACS recommends that patients … be offered a selection of tests based on the availability of high-quality options," she said Organization in an update of its policies. "We hope that the widespread adoption of this guideline will have a major impact on the frequency, suffering and mortality caused by colon cancer." The ACS recommends that patients undergo colonoscopy when they receive results other than colonoscopy.

RECOMMENDATIONS INCLUDING (Source: American Cancer Society)

  • Immunochemical fecal test every year
  • Highly sensitive, guaiac-based occult blood test every year
  • Endoscopic or imaging examinations
  • Colonoscopy every 10 Years
  • CT colonoscopy every five years
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years

By reducing the recommended age for colorectal screenings and increasing the number of screening options ACS hopes to lower incidence rates and delay the disease early to recognize enough to improve the results for more patients. "We have known in recent years that the colorectal cancer rate has decreased significantly in people over 50 who have screened, while the colorectal cancer rate has increased significantly in patients under the age of 50," says Jeffrey Weber, MD. Gastroenterologist in our hospital in Phoenix. "We have long been in favor of screening for African Americans over the age of 45, because they are at higher risk for the disease, and I believe that starting the screening of the remainder of the population at the age of 45 will save many lives."

Learn more about colon cancer.

This content is sponsored by Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

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