On May 30, 2018, the American Cancer Society (ACS) published new guidelines for colorectal cancer screenings. The ACS guidelines suggest that people with an average risk of developing colorectal cancer have regular screenings at age 45 rather than at the previously recommended age of 50.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of death from cancer in the United States and the fourth most diagnosed among adults. It is estimated that this year alone, more than 97,000 Americans will be diagnosed with colon cancer and another 43,000 will be diagnosed with rectal cancer. Close to 50,000 people are likely to die from colorectal cancers this year.

Over the past twenty years, the number of CRC cases among people older than 54 has declined, mainly due to increased screening practices, which provide doctors with the opportunity to remove polyps before they become malignant. However, there has been a 51% increase in colorectal cancers in adults younger than 50 since 1994. The chief cancer control officer for the American Cancer Society, Dr. Richard Wender, stated “people born in the 80s and 90s are at double the risk for developing cancer of the colon and four times the risk for developing cancer of the rectum compared to people born decades earlier like the 40s and 50s.” It is due in part to statistics like these that the ACS has made the new recommendation that regular screenings should begin at age 45.

If you are age 45 or older, please talk to your doctor about which CRC screening may be best for you. If you have a history of colorectal cancer in your family or are otherwise at an increased risk for CRC – such as from having occupational exposure to asbestos – you should talk to your doctor about screenings before age 45.

Railroad workers are one of many occupational groups that often faced heavy asbestos exposure during employment. If you, or someone you know are a railroad worker diagnosed with colorectal cancer it is possible that asbestos was a contributing factor. The attorneys at Doran and Murphy represent railroad workers who suffer not just from lung cancer, but also cancers of the colorectal region and more.

To speak with an attorney regarding asbestos exposure and cancer, please call us today at 1-800-374-2144.