More tests get nod under updated colon cancer screening guidelines

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WPVI) -- New, more patient-friendly screening guidelines are out for colorectal cancer.

The task force issuing them says getting tested is most important, not so much the type of test.

For people with an average risk, newer tests like virtual colonoscopy or at-home tests which look for blood and D-N-A linked to cancer are effective.

So it's not just the traditional colonoscopy.

"The different tests have different strengths and limitations, and you can discuss those with your clinician," says Dr. Douglas Owens, an author of the new guidelines and former member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Recognizing the newer tests is also a signal to insurance companies to start covering their costs.

The task force says all people from age 50 to 75 should be screened. Anyone older should talk to their doctor about what is right for them.