Colon & Rectal Cancer Screenings: American Cancer Society Updates Screening Guidelines by Dr. Shayna Mancuso
The American Cancer Society (ACS) updated their guidelines for colon and rectal cancer screening. For average-risk individuals, screening is now to take place at age 45 (instead of at age 50, as previously advised.) ACS researchers have noticed a steep rise in the incidence of colorectal cancer among younger adults. The majority of those affected were between the ages of 40 and 49.
Although more studies will be conducted, researchers suggest that factors such as sedentary lifestyle, obesity, environmental exposures and certain processed foods may contribute to this rising incidence. Physicians may offer their patients six different screening options. A few of these tests may include:
- lab tests performed on stool samples
- multi-target stool DNA test
- virtual colonoscopy or CT colongraphy
- direct visualization via a colonoscopy
Additionally, always be mindful of your family history and determine if you have factors that may place you in a high-risk category for colorectal cancer. Please see your doctor if you notice any change in your bowel habits or blood in your stool at any stage in your life. For more information, visit Cancer.org.