Washington, D.C.– The Medical Imaging & Technology Alliance (MITA), the leading organization and collective voice of medical imaging and radiopharmaceutical manufacturers, innovators, and product developers, submitted comments in support of the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) draft recommendation statement on colorectal cancer (CRC) screening.
Issued in October 2020, the USPSTF draft recommendation proposes to lower the age for initiation of CRC screening from 50 to 45 years – a position shared by the American Cancer Society, which made a similar recommendation in 2018.
"As the second most common form of cancer diagnosed in the U.S. and the third leading cause of cancer death, colorectal cancer continues to be a significant public health challenge," said Patrick Hope, Executive Director of MITA. "That is why MITA strongly supports the USPSTF proposal to expand the population for which it recommends screening for CRC. Doing so will ensure more Americans get screened and detect CRC early when the disease is most treatable."
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The USPSTF proposal also discusses the value of various CRC screening exams, including computed tomography colonography (CTC), which can detect CRC in a precancerous stage. While supportive of the USPSTF views on CTC screening, MITA also expressed concern that the general public may not be "fully aware" of advanced screening options such as CTC. As the letter notes: "For many, CRC screening is synonymous with colonoscopy, without knowledge of the availability, risks and benefits of other options. For this reason, we recommend that USPSTF partner with other public health agencies, professional societies, and patient groups to ensure that the public is fully aware of all the available screening options. This would greatly enhance adherence to these guidelines."
MITA also encouraged the Task Force to continue investigating the impact of CRC on populations aged 50 years or younger– which have seen a 51 percent increase in the incidence of CRC from 1994-2014. Research on CRC prevalence has thus far been heavily focused on studying the disease's impact on older demographic groups.