Should you continue to be screened for colorectal cancer if you’re over the age of 75? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Colorectal cancer screening is recommended to begin at age 45, but at what age should it end? A new study finds that even in many over the age of 75, screening can still be beneficial. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, explains.

Nelson: This study looks at what should we do with people when they get over the age of 75. They used data from the Nurses Health Study and the Health Professional Follow up Study and there was a clear advantage to screening after the age of 75. Whether you’d been screened before age 75 or not. The real reason you might think about not doing so much screening is related to the jargon term is competing causes of mortality, in other words if you have somebody who’s in an intensive care unit because their heart doesn’t work very well screening them for colorectal cancer not likely to be helpful.  :33

Nelson says that continuing screening or not should be a topic for discussion with your primary care physician. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.