New Research Suggests That Colorectal Cancer Screening Should Begin at Age 45

According to the Center for Digestive Medicine, the best gastroenterologist in Miami, screening for colorectal cancer (CRC) should begin at 45 years of age to match rising mortality rates in young adults.

The confluence of increased obesity, alcohol consumption, lack of exercise, and an overconsumption of red meat and processed foods are leading to the increasing occurrence of colorectal cancer in younger adults. 

The American Cancer Society ("ACS"), emphasizes that screening is helpful in identifying polyps before they metastasize into more advanced stages of cancer. 

According to gastroenterologist Dr. Avila of the Center for Digestive Medicine, "Although overall rates of colorectal cancer have been declining, the rates of colorectal cancer have increased for the age groups of 20 to 49."

According to an article in the New York Times, estimates predict "16,450 new cases of colon or rectal cancers will be diagnosed this year in Americans under 50." The article says routine screenings for populations under 45 is not necessary because cancer rates are still low. "In 2014, 43 percent of colorectal cancer cases in those under 50 were in adults aged 45 to 49, as reported by Rebecca L. Siegel, an epidemiologist with the American Cancer Society and the lead author of several reports showing a rise in colorectal cancers in adults as young as their 20s and 30s."[1] 

CBS News chief medical correspondent and Gastroenterologist, Dr. Jon LaPook, postulates that the rise of colorectal cancer in younger adults could be the result of many factors:

"Some people wonder, is it obesity? Is it lack of exercise? Diet? Something in the environment? What I think is really interesting is the possibility it's the microbiome -- so the trillions of bacteria that are in our gut. And there's one to two thousand different species, and it turns out that certain of those species are linked to a higher risk of colon cancer. And when you think about it, we have been changing our microbiome -- we take antibiotics, our diet has changed -- and one of the theories is that we're messing up our microbiome and increasing the risk that way. That's just the theory."[2]

About the Center for Digestive Medicine: 

The Center for Digestive Medicine is the premier gastroenterology and hepatology (liver disease) practice serving the Miami-Dade, Florida area that comprises three physicians and three ARNP’s with a clinic and an Office based endoscopy center within the same location for your convenience. Our providers utilize the most advanced equipment, current techniques, and medications to treat all aspects of gastroenterology related diseases including but not limited to: colon cancer screening, treatment of disease of the liver and pancreas, management of GERD, inflammatory bowel syndromes such as Chron's and ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome. The Center for Digestive Medicine is perfect for those looking for a gastroenterologist in South Miami.


[1]  The New York Times. (2018, May 30). Cancer Screening Starts at Age 45 [web article]. Retrieved from

​[2] CBS News. (2018, May 30) ​Colorectal cancer screening should start at 45, new guidelines say. [web article]. Retrieved from

Source: The Center for Digestive Medicine


Categories: Gastroenterology/Intestinal Diseases

Tags: colon cancer, colon cancer screening, gastroenterology, screening guidelines

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