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E. A Call to Refine Current Guidelines For Colon Cancer Screening

Narrator: This is Science Today. The American Cancer Society recommends colon cancer screening for anyone age fifty or older - and younger for those with a family history of the disease. But Charles Theuer, an assistant professor of surgery at the University of California, Irvine, recently conducted a study aimed to refine some of these guidelines.

Theuer: We realized certain racial and ethnic groups are actually at higher risk than others. And our study attempted to define exactly when we should start screening people based on their ethnicity or racial make up.

Narrator: Their study - which looked at African-Americans, Asians, Caucasians and Latinos - found that African-Americans were at greatest risk of developing colorectal cancer and would benefit most from earlier screening.

Theuer: In our study, we found that at age forty-two, screening for colorectal cancer in black Americans was still cost-effective. Meaning that the money spent was more than justified by the number of lives that would be saved if blacks engaged in screening at age forty-two.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.