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Colon and rectal cancer screenings should start at 45, new guidelines say

The American Cancer Society's newly updated guidelines for colon and rectal cancer screening recommend that adults at average risk get screened starting at age 45 instead of 50, as previously advised. (MGN Online)

(AP)--If you're in your mid-40s and haven't had your colon checked, it might be time.

The American Cancer Society's newly updated guidelines for colon and rectal cancer screening recommend that adults at average risk get screened starting at age 45 instead of 50, as previously advised.

The updated guidelines come on the heels of what seems to be a rise in colorectal cancer among younger adults.

Those at higher risk include African Americans, Alaska Natives, and people with a family history or a personal history of colon or rectal polyps; risk factors such as these could require screening earlier.

The updated guidelines also indicate that there are six screening test options for adults, ranging from noninvasive stool tests to visual exams like colonoscopy, depending on the preference of the patient and availability of the test.

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