Which organizations have issue guidelines on colorectal cancer screening?

Updated: Mar 18, 2021
  • Author: Elwyn C Cabebe, MD; Chief Editor: N Joseph Espat, MD, MS, FACS  more...
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Guidelines on colorectal screening have been issued by the following organizations:

  • American Cancer Society (ACS), US Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer, and American College of Radiology
  • U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)
  • American College of Physicians (ACP)
  • American College of Gastroenterology (ACG)
  • National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN)

While all the guidelines recommend routine screening for colorectal cancer and adenomatous polyps in asymptomatic adults, they differ with regard to frequency of screening and age at which to discontinue screening, as well as the preferred screening method. Although the customary age for starting screening in persons at average risk has been 50 years, the increasing incidence of colorectal cancer in younger people has prompted several organizations to lower the recommended starting age to 45 years. For high-risk patients, the recommendations differ regarding the age at which to begin screening, as well as the frequency and method of screening.

In contrast, a 2019 guideline on colorectal cancer screening from an international panel of experts recommends using risk calculations to guide screening, with screening limited to patients with an elevated level of risk.

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