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Colorectal Cancer Screening Should Begin at 45 not 50

Thank you to the Washington Post for raising awareness of the third-leading cause of cancer deaths and perhaps one of the most preventable kinds – Colorectal Cancer.

An influential independent task force composed of experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine plans to change its guidelines on colorectal cancer screenings to recommend that adults begin getting screened at 45 years old, instead of 50, citing “new science” that shows a younger starting age could prevent more deaths from the disease. Previously, screenings before 50 were only believed to have a “modest” benefit,  in contrast with the American Cancer Society’s, which updated its recommendation in 2018 to say regular screenings should start at age 45.

“I think the result of all of this will be that lives will be saved,” – Kimmie Ng, director of the Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

By lowering the starting age, the task force is aiming to raise awareness among everyone, especially Black people, that much can be done to detect colorectal cancers early and potentially prevent the disease. Final recommendations are expected to be formalized within a few months.

The next time you speak with your Foxhall physician, please talk to us about colorectal cancer screening and we can help you determine the right plan for you.