Health Policy & Advocacy
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
Hospitals: One Reason COVID Is More Lethal for Black AmericansU.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Challenge to Affordable Care ActHow Secure Is Your Health or Fitness App?Doctors May Be Overprescribing Opioids After SurgeriesMost Editors at Leading Medical Journals Are White, Study FindsAHA News: Why Everyone Should Care About Health Disparities – And What to Do About ThemUS to Send 500 Million COVID Vaccine Doses to Countries Desperate for ShotsThink You Can Skip That Annual Physical?  Think AgainYour Doctor Appointments Might Look Different Post-PandemicU.S. Blood Supply Is Safe From Coronavirus, Study FindsThink You Can Spot Fake News? Many Can'tTelehealth Is Growing in Use, Acceptance Among Americans: PollAHA News: Deep Disparities Persist in Who Gets Exposed to Secondhand SmokeMany Pre-Surgery Tests Are Useless, So Why Are Hospitals Still Using Them?U.S. Officials Say 50% of American Adults Are Now Fully VaccinatedMore Pot-Linked Poisoning Cases as Edibles' Popularity BoomsU.S. Issues Tough Travel Warnings for Japan Ahead of OlympicsScience Studies Most Likely to Be Wrong Are the Most Widely ReadFully Vaccinated Travelers Can Soon Visit EU CountriesAHA News: Research Into Asian American Health Doesn't Always Reflect Their DiversityIt's Still Tough to Find Prices on Most U.S. Hospital WebsitesGet First Colonoscopy at 45, not 50: U.S. Expert PanelMagnets in Cellphones, Smartwatches Might Affect Pacemakers, FDA WarnsAHA News: These 'Concrete Steps' Could Help Fight Racism in Health CareFear of Losing Health Insurance Keeps 1 in 6 U.S. Workers in Their JobsWhen Drug Companies Raise Prices, Patients' Out-of-Pocket Costs RiseMost Top U.S. Surgeons Are White and That's Not ChangingAmericans Missed Almost 10 Million Cancer Screenings During PandemicU.S. Birth Rates Continue to FallBiden Sets New Goal of Vaccinating 70% of Americans by July 41 in 3 Neighborhoods in Major U.S. Cities Is a 'Pharmacy Desert'You Got Your COVID Shot: What to Do With That Vaccine CardFinding a Doctor Is Tough and Getting Tougher in Rural AmericaUrgent Care or the ER? Which Should You Choose?FDA Poised to Ban Menthol CigarettesPoll Reveals Who's Most Vaccine-Hesitant in America and WhyAHA News: Food, Culture and the Secret Ingredient to Address Lack of Diversity in Nutrition FieldCDC Decision on Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Pause Expected FridayAHA News: How to Make Sure Everyone Gets a Fair Shot at the COVID-19 VaccineLittle Progress in Boosting Numbers of Black American DoctorsHigh-Profile Police Brutality Cases Harm Black Americans' Mental Health: StudyAHA News: Could the Pandemic Help Boost Diversity in Clinical Trials?Americans Still Avoiding ERs in Pandemic, But Uptick Seen in Mental Health CrisesCDC Panel Says It Needs More Time to Study J&J Vaccine Clotting CasesAHA News: 5 Things to Know This Earth Day About How the Environment Affects Health4 in 10 Adults Over 50 Consult Online Reviews When Picking a DoctorCBD or THC? Cannabis Product Labels Often Mislead, Study FindsPandemic Has Put Many Clinical Trials on HoldDespite Pandemic's Toll, Many Older Adults Don't Have Living Wills'Heart-in-a-Box' Can Be Lifesaving, Matching Up Distant Donors With Patients
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Health Insurance

Get First Colonoscopy at 45, not 50: U.S. Expert Panel

HealthDay News
by By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
Updated: May 18th 2021

new article illustration

TUESDAY, May 18, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- A lot of people think of age 50 as the magic number for getting a first colonoscopy, but earlier is better, a prestigious U.S. expert panel now says.

Based on evidence that younger people are being diagnosed with colon cancer and would benefit from screening, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is moving the recommended age for colon cancer screening from 50 to age 45.

The recommendation is for all adults without symptoms, personal health history of colon polyps or family health history of genetic disorders that increase risk, the task force noted.

"Colorectal cancer screening saves lives and people ages 45 to 75 should be screened ... to lower their risk of dying from this devastating disease," said Dr. John Wong, chief scientific officer of the USPSTF. "There is new science about colorectal cancer in people younger than 50. That science has allowed us to expand our recommendation to people ages 45 to 49."

Though the USPSTF is an independent, volunteer group of health experts in a range of specialties, its recommendations carry weight. For example, the Affordable Care Act linked USPSTF recommendations with its insurance coverage requirements.

The task force does not have enough evidence to show benefits to moving the screening age even lower, Wong said, but called for additional research.

The American Cancer Society was already recommending screening this younger age group, having altered its recommendations in 2018 to include those age 45 to 49.

The changing USPSTF recommendations will be mean less confusion about which recommendation to follow as well as insurance coverage for screening at an earlier age, said Robert Smith, senior vice president of cancer screening for the American Cancer Society.

"We want doctors and the public to recognize the value of starting screening at age 45, instead of putting it off until age 50 or even later, which frankly many people do," Smith said. "It's not as if everybody immediately begins screening at age 50. They commonly put it off until their middle 50s."

By some estimates, one-quarter to one-third of people in the already recommended age group of 50 to 75 aren't getting their screening on time, even though colon cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer death in the United States.

"This recommendation of screening for colorectal cancer is a critical preventive measure for all people ages 45 to 75 to help them live longer and healthier lives," Wong said.

Noting Black adults have particularly high rates of colon cancer and are more likely to die from the disease, the task force encouraged doctors to reach out to their Black patients to be sure they're screened regularly.

Also, people should talk to their doctors if they have a change in bowel habits, blood in their stools or darkening stool, which can be a sign of bleeding, Smith said.

Several types of tests can screen for colon cancer, Wong said. Some can be done at home. Some can be done in a medical office. Patients can talk to their doctor to figure out the right test for them.

The task force recommended both direct visualization tests such as colonoscopy and stool-based tests. The right test is the one that gets screening done, the task force statement said. The cancer society also recommends a stool test or direct visualization test. Visualization tests also include sigmoidoscopy or CT colonography.

"We can prevent this disease through screening and we can find it early," Smith said.

There isn't one answer for why more younger people are getting colon cancer, Smith said. An editorial accompanying the new recommendations -- published May 18 online in the Journal of the American Medical Association -- said risk can be reduced through diet and lifestyle changes.

Nearly 53,000 Americans will die of colon cancer this year, the task force estimates.

The USPSTF did not change its recommendations for older adults, ages 76 to 85.

"We recognize that the benefits and harms depend on an individual's overall health, whether or not they've been screened before that and their personal circumstances and preferences. So we recommend that people in this age group should talk with their clinician about whether screening is right for them," Wong said.

Evidence used to make the new recommendations included randomized controlled trials and USPSTF modeling studies.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more on colon cancer screening.

SOURCES: John Wong, MD, chief scientific officer and vice chair, clinical affairs, U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, Rockville, Md.; Robert Smith, PhD, senior vice president, cancer screening, American Cancer Society, Atlanta; Journal of the American Medical Association, May 18, 2021


Amazon Smile


Children and Adult services are available now with no wait time.  

Please contact HBH at 860-548-0101, option 2.


powered by centersite dot net