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

or
  • Colonoscopy every 10 years, or
  • Double contrast barium enema (DCBE) every 5 years, or
  • CT colonography (CTC) every 5 years

Tests That Primarily Detect Cancer

  • Annual guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT) with high test sensitivity for cancer, or
  • Annual fecal immunochemical test (FIT) with high test sensitivity for cancer, or
  • Stool DNA test (sDNA), with high sensitivity for cancer, interval uncertain.

Despite clear evidence that colorectal cancer screening saves lives and the existence of several effective tests, screening rates have lagged, costing thousands of lives every year, said Otis W. Brawley, M.D., national chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. Our hope is that these new recommendations will help relieve some of the challenges health care providers have had in promoting screening to their patients and lead to more Americans preventing colon cancer by having polyps removed before they turn into cancer.

It was the strong opinion of the expert panel that colon cancer prevention should be the primary goal of colorectal cancer screening, so the guidelines state a preference for tests designed to detect both early cancer and adenomatous polyps, as long as resources are available and patients are willing to undergo an invasive test. This is the first time that a guideline from the American Cancer Society will express a strong preference for tests that can identify both polyps and cancer and lead to cancer prevention, noted David A. Lieberman, M.D., on behalf of the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer. We feel strongly that this will help consumers make decisions that can, quite literally, save their lives.

The panel recognized that some patients will not want to undergo an invasive test that requires a bowel prep, may prefer to have screening in the privacy of their home, or may not have access to
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Contact: David Sampson
david.sampson@cancer.org
American Cancer Society
Source:Eurekalert

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