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.
The USPSTF now joins the American Cancer Society and the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force — comprised of representatives of the American College of Gastroenterology, the American Gastroenterology Association, and the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy — in lowering the recommended age from 50 to 45 for patients with an average risk of developing colon cancer. See the final recommendation statement on its website.
There are often no symptoms associated with colorectal cancer. If detected in the early stages, it is usually treatable and beatable. “While there are several colorectal cancer screening options (stool-based tests, CT colonograpahy, etc.), colonoscopy is considered the “Gold Standard” for colon cancer screening,” said James Leavitt, MD, FACG. “Colonoscopy is the ONLY test that detects and prevents cancer by finding and removing precancerous polyps before they become cancerous.”
Colonoscopy is recommended for most patients with a personal history of cancer or polyps or a family history of cancer. Depending on risk factors, some people may need to be screened even earlier. Talk to your doctor about any concerns.
Most insurances will now cover a screening colonoscopy starting at age 45. Patients should confirm specific benefits before scheduling a procedure.
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