Aasma Shaukat, MD, MPH: The Current State of Colorectal Cancer Screenings

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The COVID-19 pandemic has hurt the effort of colorectal cancer screenings.

The recent change in guidance to reduce the recommended age of universal colorectal cancer screenings from 50 to 45 for low-risk individuals might have a drastic impact on early cancer detection.

However, that impact might be minimized by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

One of the biggest issues that has stemmed from the pandemic is a lot of preventative medicine was ignored and forgotten.

And despite a major public awareness campaign to increase colorectal cancer screenings, the pandemic did set things back a bit.

In an interview with HCPLive®, Aasma Shaukat, MD, MPH, Director of Research Outcomes, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, NYU Langone, explained how damaging the pandemic was toward the goal of 80% colorectal cancer screenings for individuals aged 45 years and older.

Shaukat appeared during the 2022 American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) Annual Meeting in Charlotte.

Shaukat also said there remains a need for new research into identifying and categorizing risk factors for colon cancer.

She also said developing a grading system or a score would go a long way toward separating who should be screened at an earlier age and who could wait until they are 45.