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American College of Physicians releases new colorectal cancer screening guidance statement
Date:3/5/2012

PHILADELPHIA -- The American College of Physicians (ACP) today issued a new guidance statement for colorectal cancer screening. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths for men and women in the United States. The guidance statement and a patient summary appear in the March 6 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, published by ACP.

ACP developed this guidance statement to present information to physicians and patients to increase their understanding of the benefits and harms of colorectal cancer screening.

"The American College of Physicians encourages adults to get screened for colorectal cancer starting at the age of 50," said Virginia L. Hood, MBBS, MPH, FACP, president of ACP. "Only about 60 percent of American adults aged 50 and older get screened, even though the effectiveness of colorectal cancer screening in reducing deaths is supported by the available evidence."

ACP recommends that physicians perform an individualized assessment of risk for colorectal cancer in all adults. Physicians should screen for colorectal cancer in average risk adults starting at the age of 50 and in high risk adults starting at the age of 40 or 10 years younger than the age at which the youngest affected relative was diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

Risk factors for colorectal cancer include increasing age; race -- African Americans have the highest incidence and mortality rates for colorectal cancer in the United States; personal history of polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, or colorectal cancer; or having a family history of the disease.

Options for screening for colorectal cancer include stool based and endoscopic/radiologic tests. The screening interval for average risk adults over the age of 50 is 10 years for colonoscopy; five years for flexible sigmoidoscopy, virtual colonoscopy, and double contrast barium enema; and annually for fecal occult blood test.

"We encourage patients to
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Contact: Steve Majewski
smajewski@acponline.org
215-351-2514
American College of Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

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