The New Age for Colon Cancer Screening

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The American Cancer Society (ACS) recently updated its guidelines for colon cancer screening, and the new recommendation says to start getting a regular colonoscopy starting at 45 years of age, especially, for people with above average risk. This change is pretty remarkable since non-symptomatic colon cancer screening is widely accepted to begin at the age of 50 for many years.

Keeping in mind the changes by the ACS, this article will describe why there are changes.

A study on adults (aged 20-54) has shown that the death rates by colorectal cancer in this age group has increased since the mid-2000s. The principal results of this study are:

  • The death rate among adults (in the early 50s) in the screening population is also growing. It showed that people who have postponed their first screening have higher risks of colon cancer.

  • The mortality rate for colorectal cancer has grown by 1% annually from 2004 to 2014 in adults aged between 20 to 54 years.

When to Get Screening

The universal age to start colon cancer screening was 50 before the new recommendation by the ACS. It’s hard say what the future will look like for this new guideline until other societies such as the American College of Gastroenterology and the American Gastroenterological Association share opinions on it.

That is why the standard recommendation is to consult a doctor for colonoscopy in OKC to know when you should start screening. Screening age for colon cancer may differ for the people who have a family history of colon cancer, polyps or other symptoms.

Insurance Coverage for Screening

Screening tests are typically covered under insurance for adults with an average risk for colon cancer. It is unknown whether insurers will adjust their coverage to include adults of 45 years of age. Patients should discuss with their insurer beforehand about the cost and coverage.

Screening Options

Colon cancer screening is often called a colonoscopy. In OKC, you may opt for a colonoscopy from Digestive Disease Specialists, Inc, as we have different options for different patients according to their medical conditions.

The colonoscopy is the gold standard test of colon cancer screening since this is the only test your doctor can do in the same process for detecting and removing polyps all in the same go. Here’s to your health and many more years of good digestion!

Disclaimer: This blog content does not offer a doctor's advice and creates no relationship between any patient and care provider.