Document Type


Associated Faculty

Dr. Valerie Herbert

Sponsoring Academic Department

School of Nursing

Publication Date


Abstract/ Summary

Recently, there has been an increase in the number of adults under the age of 50 who are diagnosed with colon cancer, and many of these adults are diagnosed with stage III or IV. In 2018, the recommended age for initial colon cancer screening through colonoscopies decreased from age 50 to 45. Despite this, there are rising concerns about the effectiveness of current screening mechanisms and the recommended age for screening. These authors pose the question: among adults under the age of 50, how does colon cancer screening impact mortality rates compared to those over the age of 50? A literature search was conducted using PubMed, CINAHL, and Nursing Reference Center Plus with the following search terms: colon cancer, screening, mortality, young adults. Requirements included that all articles be peer-reviewed and published in 2019-2024. A total of 12 articles met the inclusion criteria. The current evidence has shown that colonoscopies are effective in preventing colon cancer in adults aged 50 and older and have led to decreases in mortality rates for this group. Research suggests that routine screening in adults 45 and younger could also help to diagnose colon cancer at earlier stages and decrease mortality rates. Studies conducted outside the United States have shown that alternative screening methods, such as blood and fecal testing, are useful in screening young adults for colon cancer. Based on these findings, future recommendations include lowering the age requirement for colonoscopies and increasing accessibility to alternative screening methods.


publisher's version of the published document