USPSTF Updates Recommendation for Earlier Colorectal Cancer Screening

Caroline Seymour

The United States Preventive Services Task Force updates recommends that colorectal cancer screening begin 5 years earlier, at age 45 instead of age 50.

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) now recommends that colorectal cancer (CRC) screening begin 5 years earlier, at age 45 versus age 50, according to new draft guidelines.1

The grade B recommendation, which endorses screening for CRC in adults aged 45 to 49 years, also lists the noninvasive CRC screening test Cologuard as a recommended screening method for all average-risk adults between the ages of 45 years and 75 years. CRC screening for adults aged 50 years to 75 years remains a grade A recommendation.2

“Exact Sciences commends the members of the USPSTF for lowering the screening age and recommending Cologuard among multiple screening test options,” said Kevin Conroy, chairman and CEO of Exact Sciences.2 “The confidence in and influence of the guidelines will without a doubt encourage more clinicians to offer screening to their patients starting at 45.”

In August 2014, Cologuard became the first FDA-approved stool DNA screening test for CRC, receiving inclusion in the USPSTF screening guidelines for those over the age of 50 years. The approval was based on findings from a 9989-patient clinical trial that demonstrated a 92.3% CRC-detection rate with Cologuard versus 73.8% with a fecal immunochemical test (FIT; P < .001).

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