American Cancer Society Updates Colorectal Cancer Screening Guideline
The American Cancer Society (ACS) has released an updated guideline for colorectal cancer screening. Among the major guideline changes, the new recommendations say screening should begin at age 45 for people at average risk. Previously, the guideline recommended screening begin at age 50 for people at average risk. Recommendations for screening test options are also part of the guideline changes.
For people of average risk, the ACS lowered the age to start screening after analyzing data from a major analysis led by ACS researchers. The numbers showed that new cases of colorectal cancer are occurring at an increasing rate among younger adults. After reviewing this data, experts on the ACS Guideline Development Committee concluded that a beginning screening age of 45 for adults of average risk will result in more lives saved from colorectal cancer.
The committee also researched the tests that are available and used for colorectal cancer screening. They looked at technology advances, sensitivity, and the pros and cons of tests that help prevent cancer and tests that help to find it. The guideline emphasizes individual preference and choice in testing options, and strongly supports follow-up when there is an abnormal test.
The guideline was published May 30, 2018 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, which is an American Cancer Society journal.