Colorectal cancer screening? To screen or not to screen before 50?
As CMO for Caduceus Medical Group, Gregg Denicola MD agrees that colon cancer is striking at a younger age than previous years. Especially in high-risk populations, earlier screening may be beneficial.
He shares that the data that the American Cancer Society is using appears to be somewhat mixed and does not definitively show a benefit for screening prior to age 50. Also he notes, there would be increased costs in earlier screening recommendations and whether finding a cancer a few years earlier would decrease mortality has not been proven effective.
Dr. DeNicola shares, “It is a likely most insurance carriers will continue deny coverage for the test prior to age 50. Our patients should be aware they may bear the cost of a screening prior to age 50. The American Cancer Society is a lay organization. Although their aim is admirable, they are not an independent non-invested group. It would make sense they would advocate for any recommendation that could potentially reduce cancer. They may not be as interested in a critical look at the data in comparison to a less biased group made up of only physicians.”
At this time Caduceus Medical Group advises following the guidelines of the USPSTF, which currently recommends beginning colorectal screening in average risk patients at age 50.