In a new recommendation from the University of Colorado, researchers found average-risk colorectal cancer (CRC) screening should start at age 45 years.
They updated 2017 screening recommendations addressing the age to start and stop CRC screening in average-risk individuals.
The authors note there are sufficient data to support the suggestion that average-risk CRC screening begins at age 45 years even though there is no literature demonstrating that CRC screening in individuals younger than age 50 years improves health outcomes such as CRC incidence or mortality.
This recommendation is based on increasing disease burden in individuals younger than age 50 years, emerging data relating to the prevalence of advanced colorectal neoplasia among individuals aged 45 to 49 years approaching rates in those aged 50 to 59 years, and modeling studies demonstrating benefits outweighing putative harms and costs of screening.
The decision to start or continue screening should be individualized for those ages 76 to 85 years and should be based on prior history of screening, life expectancy, CRC risk, and personal preference. After age 85 years, screening is not recommended.
The team says the recommendation is in congruence with emerging recommendations from other professional societies that are also supporting average-risk CRC screening starting at age 45 on a qualified basis.
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The study is published in Gastroenterology. One author of the study is Swati G. Patel, M.D.
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