Released on Nov 15, 2021

New Colorectal Cancer Screening Recommendations Released

The United States Multi-Society Task Force (MSTF) on Colorectal Cancer (CRC) has released updated screening recommendations, endorsing 45 as the age to start average-risk CRC screening. These recommendations solidify our announcement in May 2021 supporting the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in lowering the screening age.

The MSTF, which is comprised of representatives from ACG, AGA and ASGE, updated the 2017 CRC screening recommendations, focusing on the specific questions of when to start and when to stop CRC screening in average-risk individuals.  


New guidance:

  • The MSTF suggests CRC screening in average-risk individuals ages 45-49. This recommendation is a strong endorsement to the May 2021 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force decision to lower the screening age to 45.

Unchanged from 2017:

  • The MSTF strongly recommends CRC screening in all individuals aged 50 to 75 who have not already initiated screening.
  • For individuals ages 76 to 85, the decision to start or continue screening should be individualized and based on prior screening history, comorbidity, life expectancy, CRC risk, and personal preference.
  • Screening is not recommended after age 85.

These determinations are based upon:

  • Increasing incidence and mortality from CRC in individuals under age 50.
  • Evidence that benefits of screening younger individuals outweighs the harms and costs based on modeling studies.
  • Data since 2017 regarding the risks and benefits of screening beyond age 75 and the appropriate age to stop screening.

This guidance is aligned with multiple other professional societies, including the United States Preventative Services Task Force, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and the American Cancer Society. 

The full recommendations have been published jointly online via Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, Gastroenterology,and The American Journal of Gastroenterologyand will be available in the January 2022 print issues.


About Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures allow the gastroenterologist to visually inspect the upper gastrointestinal tract (esophagus, stomach and duodenum) and the lower bowel (colon and rectum) through an endoscope, a thin, flexible device with a lighted end and a powerful lens system. Endoscopy has been a major advance in the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases. For example, the use of endoscopes allows the detection of ulcers, cancers, polyps and sites of internal bleeding. Through endoscopy, tissue samples (biopsies) may be obtained, areas of blockage can be opened and active bleeding can be stopped. Polyps in the colon can be removed, which has been shown to prevent colon cancer.

About the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Since its founding in 1941, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) has been dedicated to advancing patient care and digestive health by promoting excellence and innovation in gastrointestinal endoscopy. ASGE, with almost 15,000 members worldwide, promotes the highest standards for endoscopic training and practice, fosters endoscopic research, recognizes distinguished contributions to endoscopy, and is the foremost resource for endoscopic education. Visit and for more information and to find a qualified doctor in your area.


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