New colorectal cancer screening recommendations released, GI societies endorse CRC screening age of 45

Nov. 24, 2021

The United States Multi-Society Task Force (MSTF) on colorectal cancer (CRC) has released updated screening recommendations, endorsing 45 as the age to start average-risk CRC screening. These recommendations solidify their announcement in May 2021 supporting the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in lowering the screening age.

The MSTF updated the 2017 CRC screening recommendations, focusing on the specific questions of when to start and when to stop CRC screening in average-risk individuals.

The MSTF suggests CRC screening in average-risk individuals ages 45-49. This recommendation is a strong endorsement to the May 2021 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force decision to lower the screening age to 45.

The MSTF strongly recommends CRC screening in all individuals aged 50 to 75 who have not already initiated screening. This has not changed 2017 recommendations.

For individuals ages 76 to 85, the decision to start or continue screening should be individualized and based on prior screening history, comorbidity, life expectancy, CRC risk and personal preference. Screening is not recommended after age 85.

These determinations are based upon:

Increasing incidence and mortality from CRC in individuals under age 50.

Evidence that benefits of screening younger individuals outweighs the harms and costs based on modeling studies, according to the task force.

American Gastroenterological Association press release