Screening previously unscreened elders for colorectal cancer (CRC) can
be cost-effective as late as age 86, according to an Annals of
Internal Medicine study.
Reaearchers evaluated to what age colorectal cancer screening should
be considered in unscreened, average-risk elders (age range, 76–90).
Strategies included one-time colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or fecal
immunochemical testing (FIT).
Compared with no screening, CRC screening at age 80 prevented 4.2
(FIT) to 10.7 (colonoscopy) CRC-related deaths for every 1000 people
screened. Screening was cost-effective in those without comorbid
conditions until ages 83 (colonoscopy), 84 (sigmoidoscopy), and 86
(FIT). In elders with severe comorbidities, screening was cost-
effective until ages 77, 78, and 80, respectively.
Nearly a quarter of people older than 75 have never undergone
colorectal cancer screening. This study suggests that one-time
screening for CRC in people older than 75 is cost-effective and
probably should be considered in elders without comorbid conditions.
Annals of Internal Medicine article