Colonoscopy After 75: A Potential Lifesaver

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay reporter

FRIDAY, May 21, 2021 (HealthDay News) – If you’re over 75, colon cancer screening could save your life, new research shows.

This week, the influential US Task Force on Preventive Services lowered the recommended age for starting colon cancer screening from 50 to 45 for people with no family history of colon cancer, but has not changed. his advice to stop routine screening at age 75.

After this age, the decision to get tested may be based on a person’s health and risk factors, but there is little strong evidence for or against the recommendation to stop routine testing at age 75.

“Until now, there really was no clear data to help us decide whether patients should be screened after 75 years,” said co-investigator Dr Andrew Chan, head of the epidemiology unit. clinical and translational practice at Massachusetts General Hospital.

“This is the first empirical evidence that really shows that it is useful to continue screening beyond the age of 75 for many people. But the key take-home message is that screening must be tailored to suit individual risk factors. “Chan said in a hospital newspaper. Release.


To get answers, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital analyzed data on colon cancer cases and deaths in more than 56,000 participants who were followed from 1988 to 2016 in two large U.S. health studies and reached l age 75 during follow-up.

People who were screened for colon cancer after age 75 had a 39% lower risk of colon cancer and a 40% lower risk of colon cancer death, whether or not they were screened before. age 75.

Among participants who were screened before age 75, those screened after that age had a 33% lower risk of colon cancer incidence and a 42% higher risk of colon cancer death. lower than those who were not screened after 75 years.

Among those who were tested for the first time after age 75, the rates were 49% and 37% lower, respectively, than those who were never tested.

But people over the age of 75 with heart disease, diabetes, or three or more other health conditions did not see any significant benefit from screening for colon cancer after age 75, according to the study published on May 20 in the review. JAMA Oncology.


Colon cancer screening is most often done by colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy.

More information

The National Cancer Institute in the United States has more on colon cancer screening.

SOURCE: Massachusetts General Hospital, press release, May 20, 2021

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