ACS Guidelines

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has lowered its colorectal cancer screening age guideline to 45 years

What you should know about the new ACS guideline

ACS has lowered its recommended starting age for colorectal cancer screening to 45

  • The previous ACS recommendation (2008) was to begin screening at age 50
  • It is estimated that an additional 21 million people in the US are now eligible for colorectal cancer screening under the new ACS guideline

  • The new ACS guideline stresses that when a screening test (other than colonoscopy) comes back positive, that test must be followed with a timely colonoscopy to complete the screening process

People at increased or high risk for colorectal cancer may need to start screening before 45 years, and be tested more often than recommended above

  • High-risk individuals include those with a strong family or personal history of colorectal cancer or certain types of polyps, a history of inflammatory bowel disease, a known family history of a hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome, or a history of radiation to the abdomen to treat a prior cancer
  • ACS does not have screening guidelines for high-risk individuals and recommends referring to those published by the US Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer (2017)


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