Tampa’s GOC supports recommendation on early screening

Dr. McLeod

Task force recommends colorectal cancer screening start at 45

The death of the ‘Black Panther’ actor Chadwick Boseman from colorectal cancer at 43 years of age highlights the need for proactive vigilance.”

— Dr. Howard McLeod

TAMPA, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES, November 10, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ — A new draft recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force to start colorectal cancer screening in adults as early as age 45 reflects a sharp rise in the number of colon and rectal cancers in younger adults, according to Dr. Howard McLeod, medical director of Tampa’s Geriatric Oncology Consortium and a professor at the University of South Florida Taneja College of Pharmacy.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in disease prevention and evidence-based medicine.
Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society.

“The death of the ‘Black Panther’ actor Chadwick Boseman from colorectal cancer at 43 years of age highlights the need for proactive vigilance,” said McLeod, an internationally renowned gastrointestinal cancer expert. “Any measure that draws attention to early-onset colon and rectal cancer and encourages early screening helps the medical community treat these cancers in the early stages,” he added.

An American Cancer Society study found that 12 percent, or some 18,000 cases of colorectal cancers, will be found this year in adults under the age of 50 in the United States.

“New science about colorectal cancer in younger people has enabled us to expand our recommendation to screen all adults starting at age 45, especially Black adults who are more likely to die from this disease,” says Task Force member Michael Barry, M.D., director of the Informed Medical Decisions Program in the Health Decision Sciences Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a clinician at
Massachusetts General Hospital.

“Screening earlier will help prevent more people from dying from colorectal cancer,” he added.

The Task Force draft recommendation is available for comment until Nov. 23 at www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/tfcomment.htm.

“There are many tests available that can effectively screen for colorectal cancer,” says Task Force member Martha Kubik, Ph.D., R.N. Dr. Kubik is a professor and director of the School of Nursing, College of Health and Human Services at George Mason University. “We urge primary care clinicians to discuss the pros and cons of the various recommended options with their patients to help decide which test is best for each person.”

“It can be via colonoscopy or a stool DNA test,” said McLeod. “Just go get screened.”

McLeod is also a world-class researcher in pharmacogenetics, also referred to as Precision Medicine. Pharmacogenetics is a branch of genetics that addresses how our genetic code influences how we respond to drug therapies.

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