Martha Kubik, Ph.D., R.N. Professor and Director School of Nursing College of Health and Human Services George Mason University

USPSTF: New Recommendation Lowers First Colon Cancer Screening Age to 45

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Martha Kubik, Ph.D., R.N. Professor and Director School of Nursing College of Health and Human Services George Mason University

Dr. Kubik

Martha Kubik, Ph.D., R.N.
Professor and Director
School of Nursing
College of Health and Human Services
George Mason University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, yet about a quarter of people ages 50 to 75 have never been screened for this devastating disease. Fortunately, we know that screening for colorectal cancer is effective and saves lives. New science about colorectal cancer in people younger than 50 years old has enabled us to expand our previous guidelines to recommend that all adults ages 45 to 75 be screened for colorectal cancer to reduce their risk of dying from this disease.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Response: For adults ages 76 to 85, the benefits and harms of screening depend on an individual’s overall health, personal circumstances, and preferences, and we encourage people in this age group to talk to their clinician about whether screening for colorectal cancer is right for them.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Colorectal cancer is a devastating disease, and, as primary care clinicians and researchers, the Task Force shares the public’s concern about identifying it early and helping people get the treatment they need. It is our hope that, with these expanded screening guidelines, more people will undergo screening for colorectal cancer, resulting in significantly more lives saved. There are several tests available that can effectively screen adults ages 45 to 75 for colorectal cancer, and clinicians and patients should consider the pros and cons of the various options to help decide which test is best for their individual needs.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: While we know that screening for colorectal cancer in adults aged 45 to 75 saves lives, important research gaps still exist. More research is needed that compares the effectiveness of different colorectal cancer screening strategies to reduce deaths from colorectal cancer. We are also calling on the research community to help better understand the factors that contribute to higher prevalence and mortality rates of colorectal cancer in Black adults and interventions that can decrease these disparities. And finally, we need more studies to see whether screening strategies need to be tailored for adults younger than age 50.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: It is important to note that Black people have higher rates of colorectal cancer and are at a higher risk of dying from this disease. We strongly encourage physicians and healthcare providers to reach out to their Black patients to help ensure they receive regular screening beginning at age 45 to reduce their risk of dying from colorectal cancer.

Citations:

US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for Colorectal Cancer: US Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement. JAMA. 2021;325(19):1965–1977. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.6238

  • Editorial

Colorectal Cancer Screening Starting at Age 45 Years—Ensuring Benefits Are Realized by All

Shivan J. Mehta, MD, MBA, MSHP; Arden M. Morris, MD, MPH; Sonia S. Kupfer, MD

David B. Stewart, MD

Kimmie Ng, MD, MPH; Folasade P. May, MD, PhD, MPhil; Deborah Schrag, MD, MPH

May 26, 2021 @ 1:02 pm

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