African Americans should have Colonoscopy Screening at a Younger Age

Last Modified: May 8, 2012


I recently heard that the screening age for African Americans to get a colonoscopy is starting at age 45. Why is it not 50 like other people?


Carolyn Vachani, RN, MSN, AOCN OncoLink Nurse Educator responds:

African Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer at a younger age than other ethnic groups, and African- Americans with colorectal cancer have decreased survival compared with other ethnic groups. In turn, the American College of Gastroenterology lowered the recommended age to begin screening in African Americans to 45 in 2009.

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This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire transcript from the Focus on GI Cancers webchat.