Colon Cancer Screening Can Stop At 75

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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A government task force says most people over age 75 don't need routine screening for colon cancer.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says after that age, the benefits of detecting and treating colon cancer decline, and the risks rise. But for patients with a medical history or risk factors for colon cancer, the task force says doctors may decide to keep screening until age 85.

The group is breaking with other medical and cancer organizations by not approving new colon tests, including so-called virtual colonoscopy and a stool DNA test. The task force is worried about the radiation exposure from virtual colonoscopy, and says the stool DNA test "has potential" but is still an evolving technology.

The task force's guidelines could affect whether insurers pay for such tests.

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