According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 53,200 men and women will die of colorectal cancer this year alone. The best tool we have against the deadly cancer, which recently took the life of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, is testing. However, according to a panel of doctors, we aren't testing people early enough. Read on, and don't miss these Sure Signs You Have Colon Cancer.
Routine Screening Should Begin at Age 45 Now
On Tuesday the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended that routine screening for the cancer begin at the age of 45 — five years earlier than it currently is. The proposal has not yet been finalized, but once it is will be followed by doctors, insurance companies and policymakers. The panel noted that Black men and women should be screened at 45, due to the higher rate of the disease in African-American communities.
In 2018 the American Cancer Society changed their guidance, recommending that routine screenings start at 45. According to a study conducted by the health organization, the majority of the 147,950 cases of colorectal cancers yearly are discovered in those over 50. However, 12 percent are found in younger people — even as young as those in their 20s or 30s.
This New Guidance May Save Lives
Darren Mareiniss, MD, FACEP, Emergency Medicine Physician at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, explains to Eat This, Not That! Health that while he typically advises screening earlier than 50 years of age for people with family histories or who have risk factors for colon cancer, that if finalized, the guidance will likely save lives. "Early stage colon cancer has an excellent prognosis and the screening will likely allow us to intervene earlier, he says.
"This is probably the best news for patients and survivors of colorectal cancer that I can remember over the last 10 or 20 years," Michael Sapienza, chief executive of the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, an advocacy group, told the New York Times. "We have been fighting for so long for this. It is a huge win for our community, and a huge milestone for the colorectal cancer community and for cancer care." So get tested, and to ensure your health and the health of others during this pandemic, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.