What are risk-based colorectal cancer screenings?

Updated: Mar 18, 2021
  • Author: Elwyn C Cabebe, MD; Chief Editor: N Joseph Espat, MD, MS, FACS  more...
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An international panel of experts has published colorectal cancer screening guidelines that recommend risk-based screening for adults aged 50-79 years with no prior screening, no symptoms of colorectal cancer, and a life expectancy of at least 15 years. [10] For individuals with an estimated 15-year colorectal cancer risk below 3%, the panel suggests no screening (weak recommendation). For individuals with an estimated 15-year risk above 3%, the panel suggests screening with one of the following options:

  • FIT every year
  • FIT every 2 years
  • A single sigmoidoscopy
  • A single colonoscopy 

Calculation of 15-risk for colorectal cancer can be made using the online QCancer calculator. (Note that this calculator was developed for the United Kingdom population.)

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