American Cancer Society recommends earlier colorectal cancer screening

01 June, 2018, 18:33 | Author: Veronica Peterson
  • Colonoscopy

The American Cancer Society changed its recommendation Wednesday for colorectal cancer screenings, saying adults should begin them at age 45 - not 50, as previously advised.

Weinstein said if Exact can eventually get the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to expand approval of Cologuard to screen people starting at age 45, it could add as many as 25 million patients to the current 85 million Americans in the recommended age group.

The organisation stated that the screening should begin at age 45, after a research recently conducted revealed that there was a 51 percent percent increase in colorectal cancer among people under 50 since 1994, and an accompanying rise in death rates. Historically, African-Americans, Native Americans and Native Alaskans have had higher rates of these types of cancer.

The increasing incidence of colorectal cancer in younger adults is an epidemic within the cancer community.

Those strategies were undergoing colonoscopy every 10 years; a computed tomography colonography or "virtual colonoscopy" every five years; a flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years; a multitarget stool DNA test every three years; a take-home fecal immunochemical test annually; or a take-home high-sensitivity guaiac fecal occult blood test annually.

The move comes as a study https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.3322/caac.21457 showed that there has been a marked increase in colorectal cancer incidence, particularly rectal cancer, among younger individuals.

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Dr. Robin B. Mendelsohn, a gastroenterologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NY, says there's been an "alarming" increase in cancer among younger adults. Patients who test positive for signs of cancer on a non-colonoscopy screening method should follow up with a colonoscopy quickly, the group said.

The results from those studies were used in a "micro-simulation model", which is a model that simulates colorectal cancer incidence and mortality to figure out how beneficial it would be to begin screenings earlier to help save more lives.

While they differ on the age of first screening, both groups suggest that screening over age 75 should be a joint decision between patient and doctor.

Other possible factors could include sedentary lifestyles, environmental exposures and diets high in processed foods, he said. "We would like to see it (guidelines) be even lower, but this is a victory for sure". They do, however, advise earlier screening for certain people at heightened risk - such as those with a strong family history of the disease. "That's the public health statement, which is, pay attention to your bowels, and seek medical care if things don't seem right, if there's blood in your stools or your bowel habits change suddenly". In its new recommendations, the cancer society recommends choosing from one of six screening tests, which are also now recommended by other expert groups. The new guideline does not prioritize among screening test options.

"We were able to show not only could it reduce death from colorectal cancer by a 3rd, you could also reduce the number of people who actually got colorectal cancer by 20%", said Church.

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