Intended for healthcare professionals


Colon cancer screening should begin at 45, says US task force

BMJ 2020; 371 doi: (Published 29 October 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m4188
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

The US Preventive Services Task Force has suggested that Americans should begin screening for colon cancer at age 45, not 50, because of an increase in colon cancer among younger adults.

The new guidelines are in line with the American Cancer Society’s recommendation to begin screening at 45, issued two years ago.1 The increase in colon cancer among younger people has been in the news in the US since the death of the popular actor Chadwick Boseman at age 43. The star of Black Panther and other films died in August of colon cancer that had been diagnosed years earlier.

Colon cancer is still far more common among older people: about …

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