Dr. Eng on the Role of Preventive Screening in CRC

Cathy Eng, MD, FACP, FASCO, discusses the role of ​preventive screening in colorectal cancer.

Cathy Eng, MD, FACP, FASCO, David H. Johnson Chair in Surgical and Medical Oncology, co-leader, Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancer Research Program, professor of medicine (hematology and oncology), co-director, GI Oncology, vice chair, SWOG GI Committee, and director, VICC Young Adult Cancers Initiative, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, discusses the role of ​preventive screening in colorectal cancer (CRC).

CRC is preventable in the majority of patients, so early screening is critical, Eng says.

Notably, ​the incidence of CRC is rising among younger patients. As such, within the past 2 years, the American Cancer Society and the United States Preventive Services Task Force have lowered the recommended age for CRC screening to 45, Eng explains. 

Furthermore, in September 2019, the FDA approved Cologuard​, a noninvasive CRC screening test,  for average-risk individuals aged 45 or older. The initial indication ​for Cologuard was for patients aged 50 or older.

Patients under the age of 45 ​who are experiencing CRC-related symptoms ​should undergo colonoscopies to identify a tumor early or prevent the risk of developing CRC in the future, Eng concludes.