Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Get Screened Earlier For Colon Cancer, Urges American Cancer Society

This undated microscope image provided by the NCI Center for Cancer Research shows human colon cancer cells with the cell nuclei stained red Get Screened Earlier For Colon Cancer, Urges American Cancer Society
Anna Jefferson | 01 June, 2018, 18:33

An updated American Cancer Society guideline announced today, Wednesday, May 30, 2018, says colorectal cancer screening should begin at age 45 (up from age 50) for people at average risk.

Dr. Lee recommends eating healthy, exercising, and getting routine health checkups to help prevent colorectal cancer.

The experts cite a worrisome rise in the number of younger adults diagnosed with the nation's third leading cause of cancer deaths. "I'm thrilled that the American Cancer Society has responded and revised its guidelines, lowering the recommended age to start screening to 45".

A group representing three professional societies of gastroenterologists said in 2017 that African Americans should start screening at 45, because they are at increased risk, but that others should wait until age 50.

People who are at a higher risk of colorectal cancer "might need to start colorectal cancer screening before age 45, be screened more often and/or get specific tests".

The authors of the report called the rise in rectal cancer among younger adults "one of the most significant and disturbing developments" in colorectal cancer research. "While the causes of this increase are not understood, it has been observed in all adult age groups below the age when screening has historically been offered and is contributing significantly to the burden of suffering imposed by premature CRC mortality". Importantly, studies suggest the younger age cohorts will continue to carry the elevated risk forward with them as they age.

A recent study shows that adults born around the year of 1990 have twice the risk of colon cancer and four times the risk of rectal cancer than those born around 1950. From ages 76 to 85, the decision to undergo screening should be made with assistance from a healthcare provider.

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"The most common finding when you're screening is actually not cancer".

Recommended options for colorectal cancer screening include: fecal immunochemical test (FIT) annually; high sensitivity guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (HSgFOBT) annually; multi-target stool DNA test (mt-sDNA) every 3 years; colonoscopy every 10 years; CT colonography (CTC) every 5 years; and flexible sigmoidoscopy (FS) every 5 years.

Meanwhile, cases and deaths have fallen in older adults, at least partly due to screening, which can lead to the detection and removal of polyps before they become cancerous. It has now lowered that to age 45.

The models show that starting a colonoscopy earlier, at the age of 45, increased life-years by 6.2 percent compared to beginning at 50, as we do now.

"We'd be saving a lot of lives", Aurora Health Care medical director of surgical oncology Dr. Aaron Chevinsky said. Worldwide, nearly 850,000 people will die of colorectal cancer annually.

"I think it's great that they are finally recognizing that colorectal cancer is being seen at younger ages and it's not any longer just being considered as the older man's disease", Georges said.

In a young person, Cercek noted, gastrointestinal symptoms likely stem from an infection or other non-cancerous condition.

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