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Colorectal Screening Guidelines: 45 is the new 50

Colorectal Screening Guidelines: 45 is the new 50

Mary Washington Healthcare’s Regional Cancer Center Colorectal Clinical Team has developed screening guidelines for colorectal cancers. Screening identifies pre-cancerous polyps (abnormal growths) so they can be removed.

Our recommendations are in line with those established by professional organizations whose members include experts in the fields of screening and treating colorectal cancers: American College of Gastroenterology, American Gastroenterological Association, Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, and American Cancer Society. Screening guidelines can be confusing and conflicting.

Our recommendations are as follows:

  • Colonoscopy is recommended as the best method for colorectal cancer screening, and unlike other methods, colonoscopy can prevent colorectal cancer.
  • Routine screening starts at age 45 and can continue to age 80-85.
  • If you have a first-generation relative with colorectal cancer, your screening should begin ten years before the age of your relative at diagnosis.
  • The frequency of screening is based on previous screening findings, a genetic predisposition for colorectal cancer, and physician recommendations.

Mary Washington Healthcare’s Regional Cancer Center Colorectal Clinical Team is accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. The clinical team is comprised of physicians who are board-certified in surgery, gastroenterology, oncology, pathology, and radiology. Other team members include registered dietitians, genetic counselors, and nurses who specialize in endoscopy, ostomy care, and oncology navigation.

If you have questions about the preparation process for colonoscopy, insurance coverage for screening, other types of screenings, or concerns specific to your individual health, please contact a gastroenterologist. Mary Washington Healthcare’s Health Link representatives can help you locate a gastroenterologist by calling 540.741.1404 or 800.722.2788.

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