Colon cancer screenings should start at 45, US task force says

A national panel of health experts is for the first time recommending adults get screened for colon cancer at age 45 — five years earlier than current guidelines call for, reports NBC News.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force shared the updated recommendation in draft guidelines published Oct. 27. 

New research showing an increasing rate of colorectal cancer in younger adults spurred the change, the task force said. 

"New science about colorectal cancer in younger people has enabled us to expand our recommendation to screen all adults starting at age 45, especially Black adults who are more likely to die from this disease," Michael Barry, MD, a member of the task force, said in the draft guidelines.

The new recommendation comes two years after the American Cancer Society shared a similar recommendation in 2018. The task force's recommendation will help more colonoscopies and other colon cancer tests be covered by insurance for adults under 50, health experts told NBC News.

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