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The Importance of Colorectal Screening for African Americans at Age 45

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cause of malignancy-related death in the United States. This year alone, it is estimated that 134,490 new cases will be diagnosed and 49,190 deaths will occur from CRC. African American men and women have the highest mortality rate, and lowest survival rate from CRC. While medical professionals recommend CRC screenings start for most individuals at age 50, new guidelines have been published by multiple medical agencies recommending screening in African Americans to begin at age 45.

Both the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) and American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopists (ASGE) recommend CRC screening in African Americans start at age 45. And, the American College of Physicians (ACP) even recommends this screening start earlier at age 40 specifically for African Americans. The importance of these studies and recommendations really revolves around the curable nature of colorectal cancer if detected early enough. Statistics show that CRC is 90% curable, an astounding and undeniable success rate for both patients and the physicians that fight this disease together. The key here is in early detection.

Article Reference: Colorectal Cancer in African Americans:

An Update Prepared by the Committee on Minority Affairs and Cultural Diversity, American College of Gastroenterology