Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening is now recommended for average-risk individuals starting at age 45 years, according to the American College of Gastroenterology’s (ACG’s) updated guidelines. The starting age was previously 50 years except for Blacks, for whom the starting age was lowered to 45 years in 2005.
The new guidance brings the ACG in line with recommendations of the American Cancer Society, which lowered the starting age to 45 years for average-risk individuals in 2018.
The new ACG guidelines were published in March in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. The last time they were updated was in 2009.
The ACG says the move was made in light of reports of an increase in the incidence of CRC in adults younger than 50.
“It has been estimated that [in the United States] persons born around 1990 have twice the risk of colon cancer and 4 times the risk of rectal cancer compared with those born around 1950,” guideline author Aasma Shaukat, MD, MPH, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and colleagues point out.
“The fact that other developed countries are reporting similar increases in early-onset CRC and birth-cohort effects suggests that the Western lifestyle (especially exemplified by the obesity epidemic) is a significant contributor,” the authors add.
The Gastroenterologists at Rapid City Medical Center urge you to self-refer for a screening colonoscopy. They will check your insurance benefits and schedule you within 10 days for colonoscopy. Colonoscopy actively prevents cancer because pre-cancerous polyps can be removed during the screening procedure.
Shaukat, Aasma MD, MPH, FACG1,2; Kahi, Charles J. MD, MSc, FACG3,7; Burke, Carol A. MD, FACG4; Rabeneck, Linda MD, MPH, MACG5; Sauer, Bryan G. MD, MSc, FACG (GRADE Methodologist)6; Rex, Douglas K. MD, MACG3 ACG Clinical Guidelines: Colorectal Cancer Screening 2021, The American Journal of Gastroenterology: March 2021 – Volume 116 – Issue 3 – p 458-479