Colorectal Cancer Guidelines Published

Updated consensus guidelines for detecting adenomatous polyps and colorectal cancer (CRC) in asymptomatic average-risk adults have been developed by the American Cancer Society, the US Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer, and the American College of Radiology.

"When possible, clinicians should make patients aware of the full range of screening options, but at a minimum they should be prepared to offer patients a choice between a screening test that is effective at both early cancer detection and cancer prevention through the detection and removal of polyps and a screening test that primarily is effective at early cancer detection," the groups said in their report. "It is the strong opinion of these three organizations that colon cancer prevention should be the primary goal of screening."

The authors, which include Bernard Levin, MD, professor emeritus at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, said they emphasized "the value of preventing CRC, sought to address the importance of test sensitivity in the presence of low rates of programmatic screening, and attempted to provide improved guidance about test characteristics and quality issues to referring clinicians."

Action, March 17, 2008


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