New guidelines recommend colon cancer screenings earlier

New guidelines recommend colon cancer screenings earlier

"But those things do not fully explain the rise".

"The numbers showed that new cases of colorectal cancer are occurring at an increasing rate among younger adults", senior editor Stacy Simon wrote. We plan to invest $10 million in critical research by 2021, which will include learning why we are seeing an increase in young-onset colorectal cancer, doubling the number of constituents we serve, and saving 100,000 lives by 2026 through increased screening.

"This was the first trial ever done of colorectal cancer screening in the world".

But the ACS commissioned a "modeling" study in developing the new guidelines. But not everyone agrees with a starting age of 45. They now recommend routine screening begin at age 45 rather than age 50. Since adults in their 40s are far less likely to be screened than those in their 50s (17.8% vs. 45.3%), the true underlying risk in adults aged 45-49 years is likely closer to the risk in adults ages 50 to 54 than the most recent age-specific rates would suggest. Those hazards are mainly confined to colonoscopies - which can, rarely, puncture the colon wall or cause significant bleeding.

A colonoscopy is not the only effective screening tool.

The ACS recommends annual screening with a fecal immunochemical test or a high-sensitivity guaiac-based fecal occult blood test or every 3 years with a multitarget stool DNA test.

The ACS is not recommending any particular approach. "Greater value was placed on the role of patient preferences and on the potential to increase CRC screening utilization through offering choice in screening test options".

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Because it is almost impossible to ask large cohorts of people to start colorectal cancer screening at different ages and then follow the outcomes of these cohorts, determining the best age to start and stop screening, and the optimal frequency of screening, depends on sophisticated mathematical models.

The group is in the process of updating its screening guidelines, a spokesperson said.

"At the time of the Task Force's review, there was limited data on screening adults younger than age 50". One goal is to research the reasons for the rising incidence, said Dr. Andrea Cercek, an oncologist at Sloan Kettering. "We would like to see it (guidelines) be even lower, but this is a victory for sure". She encountered many younger people while she was going through treatment and said it's imperative that people don't wait if they experience any symptoms.

Some red flags include a persistent change in bowel habits; abdominal pain or cramping; stool that is dark or has visible blood; and unintended weight loss.

"It's hard enough to get people to do it at all", Plescia noted.

At this point she's determined to focus on her family, not her prognosis. Colorectal cancer has not been linked to the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause anal cancer, as well as cervical, throat, penile and other types of cancer. "It's very curable when we catch it early", Cercek said.

Insurance providers consider available evidence, clinical guidelines and recommendations from organizations such as the American Cancer Society to understand when preventive screenings are needed.

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