Dr. Aasma Shaukat, a gastroenterologist and researcher in colon cancer screening, discusses the conflicting colorectal cancer (CRC) screening recommendations. The American College of Physicians (ACP) recently proposed CRC screening starting at age 50, using fecal occult blood-based testing every 2 years, and flexible sigmoidoscopy every 10 years or colonoscopy every 10 years.
This contrasts with other major guidelines, which recommend initiating screening at age 45. The discrepancy arises from differing interpretations of the same evidence, with some emphasizing the rising CRC incidence in those under 50, while others point to the lack of randomized controlled trials for this age group. Dr. Shaukat highlights the challenges of conflicting guidelines, which can either provide diverse perspectives for better-informed decisions or lead to confusion and reduced trust in medical societies.