Due to some recent findings, the American Cancer Society has data supporting why colorectal screenings should start at age 45 for those with average risks. Up until quite recently, the ACS recommended that those adults with average risk for colon cancer should begin screening at age 50.
So why the change?
Increased Incidences Of Colon Cancer In Younger Adults
That fact should get your attention, especially if you are a millennial. This increased incidence of colon cancer in younger adults is a significant red flag. Researchers have discovered that adults born around 1990 have a higher risk of colon cancer, as well as four times higher risk for rectal cancer, whereas those born around 1950 have the lowest risk.
By having earlier colorectal screenings, your provider may find precancerous polyps or even detect colon cancer at an earlier stage rather than an advanced stage. Earlier detection of cancer and beginning the treatment early will not only saves lives but will reduce healthcare costs.
Colorectal Screening Even Earlier Than Age 45
These new recommendations refer to adults with average risk for colon cancer. Those with a higher risk should speak with a doctor and not only be screened earlier than age 45 but should also have more frequent screenings. Those at a higher risk include:
- Anyone with a family history of colon cancer
- Anyone with a personal history of colon cancer
- Anyone with a personal history of irritable bowel disease or ulcerative colitis
- Anyone with a personal history of radiation treatments of the abdomen or pelvis to treat other cancers
Types Of Colorectal Screenings, Standards, And Options
Whether you have stool-based tests once a year or visual tests like a colonoscopy every 5 years, don’t procrastinate or avoid the process.
If you are in good health, you should continue to be screened through age 75. Between ages 76 – 85, decide in consultation with your provider. After age 85 colorectal screenings are no longer recommended.
We think it’s clear why colorectal screenings should start at age 45. If you fall into the millennial generation, schedule a screening soon.
If you are a young adult with average risk for colon cancer, contact one of our specialists to set up your colorectal screening today.