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Health groups issue updated colorectal cancer screening guidelines
Date:3/5/2008

ATLANTA March 5, 2008 The American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology, and the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer (a group that comprises representatives from the American College of Gastroenterology, American Gastroenterological Association, and American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy) have released the first-ever joint consensus guidelines for colorectal cancer screening. The guidelines add two new tests to the list of recommended options: stool DNA (sDNA) and CT colonography (CTC), also known as virtual colonoscopy, and for the first time include a preference for screening tests that can not only detect cancer early but also detect precancerous polyps, as those tests provide a greater potential for cancer prevention through polyp removal.

The guidelines, which represent the most current scientific evidence and expert opinion available, also outline quality elements essential to each of the recommended testing methods. They will appear in the May/June issue of CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, and are published early online on CA First Look and will also be published in upcoming issues of the journals Gastroenterology and Radiology.

In addition to the new tests, the focus on quality and the new delineation of tests into two major types, the expert panel also concluded that any proposed colorectal screening test that has not been shown in the medical literature to detect the majority of cancers present at the time of testing should not be offered to patients for colorectal cancer screening. That includes some types of previously endorsed guiaic-based stool tests.

Based on a review of the historic and recent evidence, the following tests were deemed acceptable options for the early detection of colorectal cancer and adenomatous polyps for asymptomatic adults aged 50 years and older:

Tests That Detect Adenomatous Polyps and Cancer

  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years,
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Contact: David Sampson
david.sampson@cancer.org
American Cancer Society
Source:Eurekalert

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