“45 is the new 50” as age for colorectal cancer screening is lowered
Prompted by a recent alarming rise in cases of colorectal cancer in people younger than 50, an independent expert panel has recommended that individuals of average risk for the disease begin screening exams at 45 years of age instead of the traditional 50. The guideline changes by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), published in the current issue of JAMA, updates its 2016 recommendations and aligns them with those of the American Cancer Society, which lowered the age for initiation of screening to 45 years in 2018. Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most preventable malignancies, owing to its long natural history of progression and the availability of screening tests that can intercept and detect the disease early. Overall incidence of CRC in individuals 50 years of age and older has declined steadily since the mid-1980s, largely because of increased screening and changing patterns of modifiable risk factors.