Make your voice heard! The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recently published a draft recommendation to lower the screening age for colorectal cancer (CRC) to 45 years old for average-risk individuals. This would be a change from the current recommendation to start screening at age 50, and the USPSTF is seeking input on these recommendations through November 23rd. MNGI believes in the importance of these new guidelines for cancer prevention and is encouraging everyone to actively add support for this life-saving update.
This change reflects updated evidence, particularly the upward trend in CRC diagnosis among people under age 50, known as young-onset or early-age-onset CRC. Alarmingly, the incidence of young-onset CRC has increased by 2% ever since 1990, with no end in sight. The goal of earlier screening is to remove polyps before they develop into cancer and avoid cancers being detected later, at more advanced stages.
It is important to note that age 45 has already been the recommended screening age for African Americans and Native Americans. In fact, Black adults get colorectal cancer more often than other populations and are more likely to die from this disease. According to Task Force member Michael Barry, M.D., “Screening earlier will help prevent more people from dying from colorectal cancer.” This change in screening guidelines would also align with the actions taken in 2018, by the American Cancer Society to change its recommendations for CRC screening to age 45 for all adults.
So, what can you do? MNGI is urging you to make a public comment in support of lowering the colorectal cancer screening age from 50 to age 45 on the USPSTF’s website before the deadline on November 23. You can also share this blog with others and together, we can make a historic change in the way we fight colorectal cancer.