New Colon Cancer Screening Guidelines
Colon Cancer Screening
“Colon cancer is one of the most common types of cancer worldwide, and its prevalence varies by region and age group. According to the World Health Organization, there were an estimated 1.8 million new cases of colon cancer in 2018, and it was the third most common cancer in both men and women.
In the United States, colon cancer is the third most common cancer overall and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths. It is estimated that there will be over 100,000 new cases of colon cancer and more than 50,000 deaths from the disease in 2021 alone.
Several risk factors can increase a person's likelihood of developing colon cancer, including age, family history, diet, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, and certain medical conditions. However, early detection through screening tests such as colonoscopies can significantly improve a person's chances of successful treatment and survival.
Colonoscopy is considered the gold standard for colon cancer screening because it allows for the detection and removal of precancerous polyps before they can develop into cancer. Colorectal cancer is often considered something older people get. In truth, colorectal cancer is affecting more and more young adults. Colorectal cancer rates for people under age 50 have increased 2% each year since 1990. For this reason the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has lowered the colorectal cancer screening age to 45. This means all people at average risk should start screening for colorectal cancer at age 45. People at higher risk may need to be screened earlier according to their risk factors.”
-James Torosis, MD
"Adults should start screening for colorectal cancer routinely at the age of 45, instead of waiting until 50," the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)" recommended on Tuesday, October 27, 2020, in a move that reflected the sharp rise in the number of colon and rectal cancers in young adults."
In 2018 the American Cancer Society also started recommending colon cancer screening starting at age 45, See https://acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.3322/caac.21458
Please talk to your gastroenterologist for more information.