ACP updates colorectal cancer screening guidelines

Physicians should screen all patients ages 50-75 for colorectal cancer, even if they have an average risk of acquiring the disease, according to updated recommendations from the American College of Physicians.

The updated guidelines were published in Annals of Internal Medicine Nov. 5. They encourage physicians to discuss the associated costs, risks and benefits of colorectal cancer screening tests with patients before choosing one of three options:

  • Fecal immunochemical testing or high-sensitivity guaiac-based fecal occult blood testing every two years
  • Colonoscopy every 10 years
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 10 years, plus fecal immunochemical testing every two years.

ACP also recommends that physicians stop screening for colorectal cancer in adults over age 75 or those with a life expectancy of 10 years or less.

The previous guidelines published in 2015 allowed physicians to choose a preferred testing method themselves and called for blood testing every year.

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