The Healio article discusses significant developments in gastrointestinal (GI) cancer screening that occurred in 2023, highlighting whether these updates have been effectively communicated to patients. Key points include:
- CMS Lowering CRC Screening Age: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) lowered the coverage age for screening colonoscopies from 50 to 45 years and expanded coverage for certain colorectal cancer (CRC) screening tests. This change aligns with evidence-based guidelines and makes screening more accessible to a younger demographic.
- Overutilization of Surveillance Colonoscopy: Despite a low likelihood of finding advanced polyps or colorectal cancer, over 85% of older patients with a history of polyps were advised to return for surveillance colonoscopy. This raises concerns about the necessity of these procedures in older adults with lower life expectancy.
- Quality of Life with Watch-and-Wait Approach for Rectal Cancer: Patients with rectal cancer who followed a watch-and-wait approach reported better quality of life and less major bowel dysfunction compared to those who underwent surgery.
- Next-Generation Cologuard in Precancer Detection: A new multitarget stool DNA test showed higher sensitivity and specificity in detecting colorectal cancer compared to fecal immunochemical testing (FIT).
- Laparoscopic Gastrectomy for Advanced Gastric Cancer: Laparoscopy-assisted distal gastrectomy with D2 lymph node dissection was found to be noninferior to open distal gastrectomy for patients with locally advanced gastric cancer.
- FDA Breakthrough Designation for Multicancer Blood Test: The FDA granted breakthrough device designation to Burning Rock’s OverC multicancer blood test for early detection of various cancers, including esophageal and liver cancers.
- Risk of Subsequent Cancer in Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer Survivors: Approximately 16% of early-onset colorectal cancer survivors developed a second cancer, with a higher risk reported among men.
- Cell-Free DNA Blood Test for CRC Screening: A cell-free DNA blood-based test showed 83% sensitivity for colorectal cancer detection in an average-risk population.
- Noninvasive CRC Screening Test by Geneoscopy: Geneoscopy Inc. announced favorable results from its CRC-PREVENT trial, assessing a noninvasive, stool-based, at-home screening for colorectal cancer and advanced adenomas.
- Impact of Excess Weight on Colorectal Cancer Risk: Excess weight, regardless of genetic risk, was correlated with an increased risk for colorectal cancer.
These updates reflect significant advancements in GI cancer screening and treatment, emphasizing the importance of patient awareness and education in these areas.