Colorectal cancer screenings for adults at average risk are now available starting at age 45.
The move to start colorectal cancer screenings at age 45 is based on recommendations by the American Cancer Society, American College of Gastroenterology and the United States Preventive Task Force.
"These new guidelines can help save more lives in our community," said Dr. Ross Heil, Gastroenterologist. "A colonoscopy can significantly lower your risk of ever getting colorectal cancer."
Colonoscopy offers the best way for doctors to detect pre-cancerous lesions and cancers early when more treatment options are available. During one procedure, doctors can look at the health of the colon, remove growths and significantly lower the risk of cancer.
Screening options also include a take-home test kit, called fecal occult blood test (FOBT) or fecal immunochemical test (FIT).
Age is one of the most important risk factors for colorectal cancer. The rate of colorectal cancer in adults under age 50 has increased by 55 percent since 1995. Nearly 94 percent of new cases occur in adults 45 years or older.
Colorectal cancer screenings are scheduled through primary care providers.