By James Gutmann, MD, Deaconess Clinic Mt. Pleasant
Bradley Scheu, DO, Deaconess Clinic Gateway
Mia Hindi, MD, Deaconess Clinic Gastroenterology
The American Cancer Society (ACS) recently revised its screening guidelines
and now recommends beginning colorectal screening at age 45 for individuals with an average risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC). In years past, the screening guidelines recommended screening for men and women of average risk starting at age 50.
These extended screening guidelines are based on new research showing an increase in the incidence of colorectal cancer in the 40-49 year-old age group. The incidence of colorectal cancer in the 45-49 year-old group is now similar to that of the 50-54 year-old group. Additionally there has been an 11% increase in colorectal deaths from 2005 to 2015 among the 55 and younger age group.
Colorectal cancer usually starts as a growth on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. In the US, it’s the fourth most common cancer diagnosis for men and women and the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 97,220 new cases of colon cancer and 43,030 new cases of rectal cancer will be diagnosed in the United States for 2018.
Generally speaking, there are two types of screening tests:
- Home Testing Kits: Stool-based tests that check the stool (feces) for signs of cancer. One such test is a stool DNA test (also known as a multitargeted stool DNA test, or MT-sDNA) that looks for certain abnormal sections of DNA from cancer or polyp cells. (Cologuard® is currently the only test available to identify DNA changes and blood in the stool.)
- Diagnostic Exams: Visual (structural) exams that look at the structure of the colon and rectum using a scope or imaging test. Diagnostic exams include colonoscopies and CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy).
What should you do if you, or someone you know is age 45-49?
Check with your doctor about getting screened for colorectal cancer.
Learn more about Colorectal Cancer Screening Studies.
You may also call 877-654-0311