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Early Endoscopy Linked with Reduced CRC Rates in Women

Data shows endoscopy before age 45 significantly reduces the risk of colorectal cancer in women

Research published in JAMA Open Network on May 5 shows women who begin endoscopic screenings before age 50 have a 50- to 60-percent reduced risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC).

The study, which followed 111,801 women from 1991 through 2017, compared those who began colorectal endoscopic screenings tests prior to age 50 and those who did not undergo any screenings.

“In the multivariable analysis, compared with no endoscopy, undergoing endoscopy was associated with a significantly lower risk of incident CRC for age at initiation before 45 years,” the study states.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 68-percent of deaths from colorectal cancer were avoidable if the patients had been screened. Rates of early-onset colorectal cancer continue to rise. This means that physicians now bear a larger responsibility to ensure that patients are undergoing proper screenings.

The United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) released updated guidelines in 2021, lowering the recommended minimum age to begin screenings from 50 to 45 for average risk individuals. The results of the study once again stress the importance of beginning and continuing routine screenings, such as colonoscopies, through age 75. Patients older than 75 should consult their physician about continuing screenings into the future.

Known as “The Gold Standard” of colorectal screenings, the colonoscopy is the most thorough and accurate screening measure available. The procedure has the ability to identify and remove precancerous polyps. This has proven to be a valuable measure in the fight against CRC.

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