Colon cancer screening should start earlier, American Cancer Society says

If you were born in the 80s or later, you're at significantly higher risk of colon and rectal cancer — and experts say you should get screened younger

Many journalists fail to question new Cancer Society colorectal cancer screening guidelines

To their credit - and reflecting the emphasis in the ACS news release announcing the guidelines - most stories generally did a good job of discussing noninvasive colorectal cancer screening options like blood and stool tests.

Dr. Cedrek McFadden is a physician with GHS. This screening is associated with reducing incidences of colorectal cancer, as well as mortality rates, through the detection and removal of polyps and other precancerous lesions.

"If we find it in later stages, survival is less than 20%", McFadden explained.

Dr. McFadden says if you have symptoms like bleeding, changes in bowel habits or abdominal pain, you should be screened right away, no matter your age.

The guideline suggests screening either through a high sensitivity stool-based test or visual examination such as colonoscopy that snakes a tiny camera through the rectum to view the colon to search for abnormal tissue growth. United States Latinos are more likely to die from the disease than those in many Central and South American countries. It's a polyp. And nearly all colorectal cancers develop from polyps.

The data that influenced the American Cancer Society found that the lower screening age would result in about a 6 percent increase in the benefit of screening and would require a 17 percent increase in colonoscopies.

Experts say it is unclear why colon cancer rates are on the rise in younger people.

O'Neil said it is still not clear why more younger people are being diagnosed.

China ready to retaliate for proposed U.S. investment controls - ministry
In return, the Commerce Department lifted a seven-year ban on ZTE's purchase of US components that it imposed earlier in May.

But overall, few outlets challenged the narrative that more lives would be saved with an earlier start to screening and that the benefits would outweigh the harms.

O'Neil said catching colon cancer early increases the chances of controlling it.

According to Weigel, there are several options for getting screened, including a Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT).

Perhaps more importantly, few of the stories I looked at raised any concerns about the evidence supporting the new guidance, even as they noted that other professional groups are sticking with their current recommendations to start screening at age 50. These studies provided no answers to the research question of the rapid report, however: Due to a lack of new findings, benefit or harm of the screening for people under the age of 55 years with a family history remain unclear.

For now, the task force still strongly recommends people begin screening at age 50.

The underlying cause of the spike in cases among younger people is unknown but O'Neil says obesity and diet are linked to colon cancer.

As younger patients get screened, there will be more data on how doing so affects colon and rectal cancer disease rates.

Latest News