Previously, medical guidelines recommended regular screenings for colon cancer begin at age 50. However, new studies show a significant increase in colon cancer occurrences in younger adults. Because of this data, the American Cancer Society (ACS) updated its guidelines to reflect this trend and now recommends all average-risk adults—regardless of gender or ethnicity—start screening for colon cancer at age 45.
Colonoscopy: The Gold Standard
While at-home screening tests have gained in popularity, not all screening methods are created equal. At-home tests have varying degrees of accuracy and can only detect colon cancer when it’s in advanced stages. During a colonoscopy, physicians can both locate and remove colon polyps (growths) before they have the opportunity to develop into colon cancer, making it the gold standard for colon cancer screening by physicians.
Are you covered at age 45?
Because the ACS guidelines are new, make sure to verify your insurance benefits before scheduling a screening. Although many physicians and medical societies have adopted these new ACS guidelines, unfortunately, not all insurance companies have. Know your options; talk to your physician; and take charge of your health.
For more than 40 years, Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates has been dedicated to providing accessible, affordable, and compassionate digestive healthcare services to
communities throughout greater Atlanta. To make an appointment at a location near you, call 1.866.GO.TO.AGA [468.6242] or visit www.atlantagastro.com.