American Cancer Society recommends colon cancer screening at age 45
New guidelines from the American Cancer Society were released today recommending moving up colon cancer screening to age 45 for anyone who is average risk. Previously, the recommendation was to start age 50 unless there were high risk reasons to start earlier. However, there has been more colon cancer being seen at young ages. Recently, a study showed that the same proportion of large polyps were seen in patients between ages 45 and 49 as in those that are 50 and 54. The proportion of colon cancer deaths were the same in those age groups as well. Colonoscopy allows us to search precancerous polyps before they develop into cancer.
There are multiple options to get colon cancer screening. Colonoscopy remains the gold standard where precancerous polyps can be found and removed at the same sitting. However, stool studies can be used as well including stool studies for DNA or trace blood. Stool studies need to be performed more frequently than colonoscopy but can be performed at home. Here at Digestive Disease Associates, we are happy to discuss those options with you, and set you up with the most appropriate test to help prevent this preventable cancer