Published: Sat, June 02, 2018
Medicine | By Douglas Stevenson

Guideline shifts for colorectal cancer | Local

Guideline shifts for colorectal cancer | Local

The organization now recommends adults 45 and older with an average risk of colorectal cancer undergo regular screening with either a high-sensitivity, stool-based test or a visual exam, depending on the patient's preference and test availability.

The study then compared screening strategies starting at ages 40, 45 and 50 and stopping at ages 75, 80 and 85. There were no other changes made to other screening tests.

Georges was in the spotlight this year after participating in the national One Million Strong movement to improve awareness of and screening for colorectal cancer.

Dr. Richard Wender, chief cancer control officer for the American Cancer Society, said the guideline update was initially focused on whether screening should begin earlier in racial subgroups with higher colorectal cancer incidence, which some organizations already recommend.

Some of the increase could stem from the increase in obesity in the US, a known risk factor for colorectal cancer, he says. About 50,000 people are expected to die of colorectal cancer this year. Recent studies have shown a rise in incidence rates for those under 50 years old, ACS's update is an important step forward. The test should still be repeated every ten years, unless otherwise medically indicated.

In a written statement Wednesday, the American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network, the nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, said that consumers should understand what their individual insurance policy will cover should they begin screening at age 45, rather than age 50. She's the co-director of the recently established Center for Young Onset Colorectal Cancer there.

"Think of it this way", Dwyer says, "if screening started at age 20, you'd have maximum benefit but also a huge burden".

The Colorectal Cancer Alliance established the Never Too Young Advisory Board so we may all join forces and take action around the issue of young-onset colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer can be treated if detected in its early stages.

The ACS published the guidelines online May 30 in its journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

The experts cite a worrisome rise in the number of younger adults diagnosed with the nation's third leading cause of cancer deaths. They do not call for everyone to have a colonoscopy, the gold standard of colon cancer screening.

If this new guideline is adopted, lives will be saved. "We would like to see it (guidelines) be even lower, but this is a victory for sure".

"In the last 10 years, we've gotten a variety of new evidence in colorectal screening", said Dr. Andrew Wolf, an associate professor of medicine and a general internist at the Medical Center. It is one of the most common and deadliest cancers, but doctors say it does not have to be.

Such risks include false-negative or false-positive results, as well as rare complications or feelings of anxiety with more invasive testing approaches, such as colonoscopy.

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