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Home E-Weekly June 21, 2016

Task Force Reaffirms Value of Colorectal Cancer Screenings

Published: June 20, 2016

Periodic colorectal cancer screenings are still substantially underused in the United States, but they offer substantial net benefits to patients, beginning at age 50 and continuing to age 75, says the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). The group recently reviewed evidence and updated its recommendations on the screenings for the first time since 2008.

Noting that multiple screening strategies "with unique advantages and limitations" are available, the USPSTF concluded "with high certainty" that screening average-risk, asymptomatic adults pays off. Whether or not to screen patients between ages 76 and 85 should be an individual decision, it says, taking overall health and screening history into the consideration.

The task force's review covered colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, virtual colonoscopy, the guaiac-based fecal occult blood test, the fecal immunochemical test, the multi-targeted stool DNA test and the methylated SEPT9DNA test.

Jim Burger

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