The United States Preventive Services Task Force officially lowered the age recommendation for colon cancer screenings to begin at 45 and received support from the CDC.
CENTER VALLEY, Pa., (July 1, 2021) – Today, Olympus announced its support of the new recommendation issued by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) to begin colorectal cancer screenings for all individuals beginning at age 45. Lowering the recommended screening age will allow more people to be screened, especially those among whom colorectal cancer rates are increasing most quickly. The Multi-Society Taskforce, which includes the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG), the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), and the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), is in full support of this new recommendation1. When screening is done via colonoscopy, colorectal cancer prevention is possible through the detection and removal of precancerous and cancerous polyps.
Colorectal cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer2, and this diagnosis has been increasing for younger individuals. Age is one of the most prominent risk factors of colorectal cancer, with 94% of cases found in those who are 45 years or older. Adenocarcinoma, a type of colorectal cancer, has increased by almost 15% in the age range of 40-49 years old (studied timespan: 2000 to 2016).3
“Now more than ever it is important to not only support but advocate for individuals to be screened for colorectal cancer starting at the age of 45,” said Ross D. Segan, MD, MBA, FACS, Chief Medical Officer for Olympus Corporation, “This cause is meaningful to Olympus as the pioneering manufacturer of endoscopic devices used to detect and treat colorectal cancer, and it’s very meaningful to me personally as I lost my father to colorectal cancer. We all need to remember that colorectal cancer is largely preventable through screening.”
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, screening rates for colorectal cancer have declined by 84.5%. With this significant decrease, Olympus is promoting early screenings through their work with the Colon Cancer Coalition and the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, and through general education via the Colonoscopy Today website, which includes testimonials of survivors who want to emphasize the importance of early screening.4
“Advocating is healing for me, so being that relentless advocate helps me carry forward and gives me purpose to my pain,” says Riley Castro, a 30-year-old who was diagnosed with Stage Four colorectal cancer when she was 24 years old and 17 weeks pregnant. Now in remission, Castro emphasizes to every individual, “I would like to say please talk to your doctor if it is your time to be screened because it could truly save your life.”5
Much like Riley Castro, Anna Dahlgren was a young woman when she was diagnosed with colon cancer at 33. She knew that seeing blood in her stool meant she might have a serious problem, and she immediately contacted her doctor who recommended that she get a colonoscopy. Because of her proactive steps, Dahlgren’s colon cancer was caught at Stage One and safely removed through surgery.
“My story doesn’t make people cry,” says Dahlgren, “but I hope it is interesting enough to open their eyes and know that colon cancer can be prevented and treated if it is detected at an early stage.”
The rate of early onset colorectal cancer is even greater for Black populations, having a 20% higher diagnosis rate than other racial groups. Research shows that this new age recommendation is important for all, but crucial for Black individuals because early onset colorectal cancer is much more common.6
To learn more about colorectal cancer and screenings, visit Colonoscopy Today. Read Anna Dahlgren’s full story here: https://truetolife.com/blog/patient-experience/becoming-advocate-colorectal-cancer-awareness.
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Olympus is passionate about the solutions it creates for the medical, life sciences, and industrial equipment industries. For more than 100 years, Olympus has focused on making people’s lives healthier, safer and more fulfilling by helping detect, prevent, and treat disease, furthering scientific research, ensuring public safety, and capturing images of the world. Olympus Corporation is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, with more than 35,000 employees worldwide in nearly 40 countries.
Olympus Corporation of the Americas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Olympus Corporation, is headquartered in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, USA, and employs more than 5,500 employees throughout locations in North and South America.
- GI Societies support starting COLORECTAL CANCER screening from 45. American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. https://www.asge.org/home/about-asge/newsroom/news-list/2021/05/18/gi-societies-support-starting-crc-screening-from-45. Published May 18, 2021. Accessed June 3, 2021.
- Colon Cancer Facts. Colon Cancer Coalition. https://coloncancercoalition.org/get-educated/what-you-need-to-know/colon-cancer-facts/. Published 2021. Accessed June 7, 2021.
- Colorectal Cancer: Screening. Recommendation: Colorectal Cancer: Screening | United States Preventive Services Taskforce. https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/recommendation/colorectal-cancer-screening. Published May 18, 2021. Accessed June 3, 2021.
- Olympus Launches Awareness Initiatives in Support of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Medical Olympus America. https://medical.olympusamerica.com/articles/olympus-launches-awareness-initiatives-support-colorectal-cancer-awareness-month. Published March 4, 2021. Accessed June 3, 2021.
- Share Your Colorectal Cancer Survivor Story. True To Life. https://truetolife.com/stories/share-your-colorectal-cancer-survivor-story. Published 2021. Accessed June 3, 2021.
- Steady rise in early-onset colorectal cancer among Blacks calls for renewed outreach. Healio. https://www.healio.com/news/hematology-oncology/20210119/steady-rise-in-earlyonset-colorectal-cancer-among-blacks-calls-for-renewed-outreach. Published January 25, 2021. Accessed June 3, 2021.