Colonoscopy age guidelines lowers to 45 years old

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The U.S. Preventative Services Taskforce (USPSTF) officially lowered its guidelines to begin colorectal cancer screenings from 50 to 45, allowing experts to detect cancers earlier, saving more lives.

As cancer experts will tell you, this change is long overdue as colorectal cancer cases in younger patients have increased in the last few decades.

The new guidance falls in line with the revised guidance from the American Cancer Society’s same guidance back in 2016. This USPSTF announcement will now mandate insurance coverage for preventative screenings to cover those 45+, beginning in October, which is huge.

Dr. Toufic Kachaamy, who is with Cancer Treatment Centers of America can discuss the importance of the new guidance and why colonoscopies are so important for early detection and prevention of colorectal cancers in both men and women.

Kachaamy said the guidelines were changed because the percentages of people over 50 with colon cancer are getting smaller… but over the age of 40, the numbers are getting bigger. He said mathematically it makes sense. It also is more cost-effective at a younger age.

We talked about if the cancers were always there or if something has changed. He said something has changed, and cancer is changing. People with increased risk have different guidelines. These guidelines are for people with average risk.

We talked about the screenings and what they are talking about, and what the tests mean. We look at the upper levels and when it’s not worth going through it all. Kachaamy talks about family history and how much it plays into cancer. He said it is very important. It will even change the guidelines for you.

If your family has a history it helps determine if your risks are high. He said if your family doesn’t have a history, it does not mean you can’t get it.

Dr. Toufic Kachaamy, National CTCA Interventional Program Specialist & Medical Director Gastroenterology, CTCA, Phoenix

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