In 2012, the American College of Physicians (ACP) recommended new colorectal cancer screening guidelines. The new guidelines are meant to provide clear information to doctors and patients so that they can make informed decisions about colorectal cancer screenings. The ACP guidelines try to balance the risks of a cancer screening with the risks of the failure to diagnose cancer.

According to the new guidelines, screenings should start at age 50 for most patients. If a person is at high risk due to previous illness or family history, then screenings should start at age 40 or ten years earlier than the age the relative was when he or she was diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

Once screening begins, the ACP recommends a colonoscopy every 10 years, flexible sigmoidoscopy, virtual colonoscopy, and/or double contrast barium enema every five years and a fecal occult blood test annually.

Screening is not recommended for people age 75 or older or those with a life expectancy of 10 years or less.

While these specific ACP guidelines are new, a doctor's responsibility to assess a patient's risk factors for colorectal cancer and recommend appropriate screening tests is not new. If your doctor failed to order appropriate screenings and you have suffered as a result, then it is important to contact a Georgia failure to diagnose attorney to learn more about your rights.

You may reach an experienced Georgia failure to diagnose lawyer at The Dover Law Firm by calling 1.770.518.1133.

We also invite you to read our FREE book: Colon & Rectal Cancers: The Risks, The Signs, Diagnosis & Treatment.