publication date: Oct. 30, 2020

Clinical Roundup

USPSTF draft guideline: Colorectal cancer screening should start at 45

A draft guideline by the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends that colorectal cancer screening should begin five years earlier—at age 45 for average-risk individuals.

The recommendation, published earlier this week, will be open for comment for a month.

USPSTF gives an “A” to colorectal cancer screening between ages 50 and 75 and a “B” to screening between ages 45 and 49. Screening between ages 76 and 85 gets a “C.”

“This assessment of net benefit applies to stool-based tests with high sensitivity, colonoscopy, computed tomography (CT) colonography, and flexible sigmoidoscopy,” the task force said.

The task force last considered colorectal cancer screening in 2016. In 2018, the American Cancer Society recommended screening at age 45 (The Cancer Letter, June 1, 2018).

“The majority of health insurance carriers in the United States will follow the USPSTF recommendation once finalized. This means that people age 45 and older will, in most cases, be eligible for insurance reimbursement for CRC screening,” a group of colorectal cancer organizations, including the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, Fight Colorectal Cancer (CRC), and Colon Cancer Coalition, said in a statement. “This disease often impacts people while at the height of their careers, building their families, and caring for older relatives. These are lives that need greater protection from CRC. Protection easily afforded through life-saving screening.”

The draft guideline again covers Cologuard, referred to in the draft guidelines as sDNA-FIT, an FDA-approved test sponsored by Exact Sciences.

“Exact Sciences commends the members of the USPSTF for lowering the screening age and recommending Cologuard among multiple screening … Continue reading USPSTF draft guideline: Colorectal cancer screening should start at 45

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