Colorectal cancer is most frequently diagnosed in people over age 65. But those born in the 1980s and ‘90s have increasingly been found to have a higher risk than older generations for developing the potentially fatal disease. That’s why the American Cancer Society this week updated its guidelines for colorectal cancer screenings, which it now says should start at age 45, rather than age 50.
“One of the most significant and disturbing developments in CRC (colorectal cancer) is the marked increase in CRC incidence – particularly rectal cancer – among younger individuals,” write the authors of a just-released study from an American Cancer Society journal. “While the causes of this increase are not understood, it has been observed in all adult age groups below the age when screening has historically been offered, and is contributing significantly to the burden of suffering imposed by premature CRC mortality.”
“As we saw data pointing to a persistent trend of increasing colorectal cancer incidence in younger adults, including American Cancer Society research that indicated this effect would carry forward with increasing age, we decided to reevaluate the age to initiate screening in all U.S. adults,” said Dr. Richard C. Wender, chief cancer control officer for the American Cancer Society, in a statement.
Joining Chicago Tonight with more about these new guidelines and what younger adults need to know is Dr. Carolyn Bruzdzinski, vice president of regional cancer control with the American Cancer Society.