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New Guidelines: Screening for Colorectal Cancer Should Start at 45

"Something's going on by which younger individuals are at greater risk for colon cancer than they were two decades ago."

May 30, 2018 - 5:06 pm
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Colorectal screenings should now begin earlier than previously recommended, according to the American Cancer Society.
 
The new guidelines say adults at average risk should begin screening at age 45, rather than at 50.  

"There's been a change, environmentally, something's going on by which younger individuals are at greater risk for colon cancer than they were two decades ago."
 
SLU Care's Dr. Charlene Prather is a gastroenterologist at SSM Health SLU Hospital.

"One of the things that we've seen is an increased number of younger individuals, below the age of 50, who are developing colon cancer."
 
The new guidelines also call for - in some cases - to continue screening through age 85, rather than stopping at 75 years old.

"Colon cancer has no symptoms until it is typically very advanced," Prather says, "so screening is so very important."