The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) strongly recommends that clinicians screen men and women, at age 50 and older for colorectal cancer. The optimal interval for screening depends on the test. Annual fecal occult blood testing offers greater reductions in mortality rates than biennial screening. A 10-year interval has been recommended for colonoscopy, but a 5-year interval is recommended for flexible sigmoidoscopies because of their lower sensitivity. The USPSTF concluded that the benefits from screening for colorectal cancer substantially outweigh potential harms, and that regardless of screening strategy chosen, it is likely to be cost-effective. In persons identified as being at high-risk by their health care providers, initiating screening at an earlier age is reasonable. It is recommended that all adults speak with their health care providers to determine, on an individual basis, the age at which to begin and end screenings, the best type of screening for individual circumstances, and the frequency of these screenings.
Disclaimer: Measures reported by WCHQ healthcare
organizations represent a specific aspect of care in relation to an
evidence-based standard, but are not clinical guidelines and do not establish
standards of care.