GI Societies support starting CRC screening in mid-to-late 40s

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) just published new guidelines recommending colorectal cancer screening start at age 45 (*B grade recommendation).

As the gastroenterology societies in the United States whose members are committed to colorectal cancer prevention, ACG, AGA and ASGE congratulate USPSTF on these new recommendations which spotlight the lifesaving importance of colorectal screening. Our Multi-society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer is finalizing our own recommendation to lower the age to start screening to 45 as well.

Lowering the screening age will have important implications for patients, providers, payors and public health. These new USPSTF recommendations, and those forthcoming from our Multi-Society Task Force not only align national policy with existing recommendations by key stakeholders, but also open up screening for younger people, increasing our ability to detect pre-cancerous lesions and cancers earlier, thereby decreasing the burden of illness and risk of mortality from colorectal cancer.

We recognize and thank members of the Multi-Society Task Force who contributed comments to USPSTF regarding the proposed recommendations last fall on behalf of the GI societies. The Multi-Society Task Force in its comments expressed strong support for this recommendation and the joint GI societies are gratified by these new USPSTF recommendations.

Grounded in the evidence and a thorough assessment of the benefits, the USPSTF embraced starting screening earlier, at age 45, a recommendation consistent with the American Cancer Society’s 2020 recommendation, the ACG’s 2021 evidence-based clinical guidelines, and the anticipated recommendations of the Multi-Society Task Force.

*B-Grade recommendation: The USPSTF recommends the service. There is high certainty that the net benefit is moderate or there is moderate certainty that the net benefit is moderate to substantial. This guidance provides support for clinicians to begin to offer or provide colorectal cancer screening to average risk patients in their practices.

ACG, AGA and ASGE are committed to collaborate on issues of common interest to all members of the GI community, including public policy and regulatory challenges facing gastroenterologists. This message was sent to all members as a joint communication from the three societies and has been reviewed by each organization.