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Understanding MOC Requirements
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April 11-13, 2019
Internal Medicine Meeting 2019
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March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
Watch Video News Story | Read Abstract |
PHILADELPHIA, March 6, 2012 -- The American College of
Physicians (ACP) today issued a new guidance statement for
colorectal cancer screening. Colorectal cancer is the second
leading cause of cancer-related deaths for men and women in the
United States. The guidance statement and a patient summary appear
in the March 6 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, published by
ACP developed this guidance statement to present information to
physicians and patients to increase their understanding of the
benefits and harms of colorectal cancer screening.
"The American College of Physicians encourages adults to get
screened for colorectal cancer starting at the age of 50," said
Virginia L. Hood, MBBS, MPH, FACP, president of ACP. "Only about 60
percent of American adults aged 50 and older get screened, even
though the effectiveness of colorectal cancer screening in reducing
deaths is supported by the available evidence."
ACP recommends that physicians perform an individualized
assessment of risk for colorectal cancer in all adults. Physicians
should screen for colorectal cancer in average risk adults starting
at the age of 50 and in high risk adults starting at the age of 40
or 10 years younger than the age at which the youngest affected
relative was diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
Risk factors for colorectal cancer include increasing age; race
-- African Americans have the highest incidence and mortality rates
for colorectal cancer in the United States; personal history of
polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, or colorectal cancer; or having
a family history of the disease.
Options for screening for colorectal cancer include stool based
and endoscopic/radiologic tests. The screening interval for average
risk adults over the age of 50 is 10 years for colonoscopy; five
years for flexible sigmoidoscopy, virtual colonoscopy, and double
contrast barium enema; and annually for fecal occult blood
"We encourage patients to engage in shared decision making with
their physician when selecting a colorectal cancer screening test
so that they understand the benefits and harms," said Dr. Hood.
"The success of any screening program, especially colorectal cancer
screening, is dependent on the appropriate testing and follow-up of
patients with abnormal screening results as well as following up
with patients for repeat testing at designated intervals."
The guidance statement does not recommend continued screening
for colorectal cancer in adults over the age of 75 or in adults
with a life expectancy of less than 10 years because the potential
harms of screening outweigh the potential benefits.
While colonoscopy is generally regarded as the gold standard to
which other screening tests are compared, the risk factors of the
test include possible bleeding, perforation of the intestine, and
adverse reactions as a result of preparation required for the
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical
specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in
the United States. ACP members include 132,000 internal medicine
physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical
students. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection, and
treatment of illness in adults. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.