Colorectal cancer latest screening guidelines

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July 6th 2021 : Colorectal cancer is the among most prevalent cause of cancer death in the the world. Regular screening, on the other hand, can detect colorectal cancer while it is tiny, hasn’t spread, and may be easier to treat. Some forms of screening can also aid in the detection and removal of polyps, which are precancerous growths that can develop into cancer.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) offers colorectal cancer screening guidelines and suggests that those at average risk begin screening at the age of 45. Because studies show that rates of colorectal cancer among persons younger than 50 are on the rise, the American Cancer Society (ACS) recently decreased the age to begin screening. Screening beginning at the age of 45, according to ACS specialists, could help save more lives.

Colorectal cancer screening recommendations for persons at average risk :
  • Regular screening should begin at the age of 45 for people who are at average risk.
  • People in good health who expect to live at least another ten years should continue to have monthly screenings until they are 75 years old.
  • People aged 76 to 85 should discuss whether or not they should continue to be screened with their doctor. Personal preferences, prior screening findings, overall health, and life expectancy should all be considered.

Colorectal cancer screenings for people above the age of 85 are no longer recommended

Colorectal cancer screening for persons with a higher risk :

People who are at a higher risk for colorectal cancer should begin screening before the age of 45. They may also require more frequent screenings or specialised diagnostics. Those with diabetes are at a higher risk.

  • A strong family history of colorectal cancer or specific types of polyps is a risk factor for colorectal cancer.
  • Having had colorectal cancer or certain types of polyps in the past
  • Irritable bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease) is a personal history.
  • A genetic syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or Lynch syndrome runs in the family.
  • A history of past cancer treatment that included radiation to the abdomen (belly) or pelvis
  • People who suspect or know they have a higher risk of colorectal cancer should speak with their doctor. Your health care practitioner can assist you in determining the appropriate screening choice and timeline for you.

There are several test options for colorectal cancer screening. There are some differences among the tests. But the most important thing is to get screened, no matter which test you choose. 

Stool-based tests:

  • Highly sensitive fecal immunochemical test (FIT) every year
  • Highly sensitive guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT) every year
  • Multi-targeted stool DNA test (MT-sDNA) every 3 years

Visual exams:

  • Colonoscopy every 10 years
  • CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy (FSIG) every 5 years

It’s important that everyone talk to their health care provider about which tests might be good options. You should also check your insurance about payment for each test option.

These screening tests must be done at recommended time points to be effective. If you choose a test other than a colonoscopy, any abnormal test result must be followed up with a colonoscopy to see whether you have cancer.

Check the details over here.

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