American Cancer Society changes age for recommended first colorectal cancer check

Published: May. 30, 2018 at 3:10 PM EDT
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The American Cancer Society has changed its recommendation for the age when you should start getting colorectal cancer screenings. They now suggest starting those screenings at age 45 instead of 50.

Rising rates of colon cancer and deaths in younger adults have driven the need for updated guidelines. But those at a higher risk, including African Americans, Alaska natives and people with family or personal history should consult with their doctors.

The updated guidelines include six test options, ranging from noninvasive to colonoscopies.

According to the World Health Organization, colorectal cancer-which includes both colon and rectal cancers- the second leading cause of deaths in the U.S. for cancers that affect both men and women.

Doctors believe rising obesity rates, more sedentary lifestyles and diets high in processed foods are contributing factors to the increase in colorectal cancer.