The American College of Physicians (ACP) update of their standing guidance statement for colorectal-cancer screening in asymptomatic average-risk adults was recently published to assist clinicians with implementing evidence-based patient care. After assessing existing guideline literature, the ACP recommended five actions: consider not screening adults ages 45 to 49 years; stop screening adults older than 75 years; discuss benefits, harms, costs, availability, frequency, and patient values/preferences with patients prior to choosing a screening method; and when choosing, recommend biennial rather than annual use of a fecal immunochemical test or a guaiac fecal occult blood test and avoid recommending computed tomography colonography or stool DNA tests. While the ACP guidelines are rigorous, well-intended, and considerate of patients’ input, their greatest impact may result from highlighting the need for researchers to help frontline clinicians to describe the risk, costs, and benefits/harms of various colorectal-cancer screening strategies in an effective, yet time-efficient, manner given the all-too-brief annual patient encounters. In the United States, reimbursement is still dependent on U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations which are somewhat more liberal in contrast to the ACP's approach which strongly favors randomized, controlled trial evidence to guide the delivery of prevention and screening services to asymptomatic average-risk patients.

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