What are the joint ACS, US Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer and ACR guidelines for 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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A joint guideline developed by the American Cancer Society, US Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer, and the American College of Radiology recommends that screening for colorectal cancer and adenomatous polyps start at age 50 years in asymptomatic men and women. [1]

In addition, individuals with any of the following colorectal cancer risk factors should undergo colonoscopy at an earlier age and more frequently than average risk individuals:

  • Family history of colorectal cancer or polyps
  • Family history of a hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer (HNPCC)
  • Personal history of colorectal cancer
  • Personal history of chronic inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn disease)

Screening options for average-risk adults consist of tests that detect adenomatous polyps and cancer, and tests that primarily detect cancer. Any one of these tests can be used for screening.

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