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SOMC GI doctor clarifies new colon cancer screening guidelines

SOMC GI doctor clarifies new colon cancer screening guidelines


PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ) – As you get older, it’s time to start thinking about things like cancer screenings. The American College of Physicians recently came out with new guidelines for colon cancer screenings that differ from other recommendations, which has caused some confusion.

In 2021, The American Cancer Society changed the starting age for colon cancer screenings from age 50 to age 45.

This year, the American College of Physicians came out with new guidelines saying they recommend beginning screenings at age 50, and recommended against some popular forms of screening.

“That created some controversy. Here we were educating everyone to start at age 45, then you have this society coming out saying let’s keep it at age 50,” said SOMC gastroenterologist Dr. Jesse Houghton. He wants patients to know that despite this change in recommendation from one medical society, most others are still recommending you start getting screened at age 45 instead of 50.

“The whole reason they’ve changed the recommendation to 45 is that the last decade or so that younger patients had been developing colon cancer,” Houghton said.

The American College of Physicians sites data showing potential risks of getting screened too early as reasoning for recommending screenings at age 50.

“The American Cancer Society, the American College of Gastroenterology still feel the data suggests the benefits of screening at age 45 outweigh the risks of screening tests,” Houghton said.

When you should get screened all comes down to your health history and recommendations from your doctor. Houghton just hopes to clear up any confusion of differing opinions.

“I wanted to raise awareness to say we still recommend starting at age 45,” Houghton said. “We feel the evidence is strong enough to warrant that decrease in age.”

Houghton says it’s important to keep options open for patients because time is of the essence when it comes to catching cancer.




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