DENVER (KDVR) — A federal task force has lowered the recommended age for colorectal cancer screenings for Americans from 50 to 45.
Those new guidelines recommend regular cancer screenings for anyone between the ages of 45 to 75.
“We’re encouraged by the new recommendation, because we think it’s going to save lives,” said Dr. Richard Roman.
Roman is a gastroenterologist at Swedish Medical Center and says studies are revealing more risk for those under the age of 50.
Last year, he says 10% of colorectal cancer diagnoses and 7% of deaths were among people under the age of 50.
“While it’s been decreasing for those over the age of 50 due to regular screenings, it’s increasing for those under the age of 50,” he said.
Roman says colorectal cancers often produce few symptoms until the cancer has developed, making regular screenings critical for detection.
“What I like to tell my patients is that it’s a day off that could save your life,” he said.
Roman expects insurance companies to respect the task force decision, but recommends checking with your provider ahead of time if you’re between 45 and 50.