EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The American Cancer Society is changing the guideline for colorectal cancer screening from age 50 to 45.
The new guideline is advising earlier testing as more younger Americans are being diagnosed with colorectal cancer, explained Dr. Jennifer Molokwu, associated professor at Department of Family and Community Medicine at the Texas Tech University of El Paso.
“They’ve noticed that the rates of new diagnoses of colorectal cancer in those between 40 and 50 has risen about 15 percent,” said Dr. Molokwu.
Even though about 90 percent of or colorectal cancers are diagnosed with those over 50, Dr. Molokwu said that decreasing the age to start the testing will help catching more of these cancers sooner which helps in success of the treatment.
Dr. Molowku explained that those with family history of colorectal cancer have the highest risk of getting it and should start their screenings even sooner.
Others who fall under high-risk category are smokers, diabetics or overweight individuals and those with poor diet.
Dr. Molokwu reminded of the so called Success Program in El Paso which is set to provide outreach to uninsured and underinsured El Pasoans to get screened, especially those with high risk of colorectal cancer.
The program offers screenings for population between 50 and 75, which will now be moved to start at the age of 45 based on the new guidelines, said Dr. Molokwu.
She advised reaching out to your healthcare provider to be referred for a screening.