The United States Preventive Services Task Force has recommended that screening for colorectal cancer be stopped at the age of 75 years for those who have had regular screening up to that age.
"By age 75, if you haven't found anything, it's unlikely that colorectal cancer will be a cause of death," said Ann G. Zauber, a biostatistician at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
The task force also recommended that screening be completely stopped by the age of 85. These recommendations are based on a review of the literature and a computer simulation that took into account mortality rates as well as screening techniques and intervals.
The report said that by 75 the risks of procedures like colonoscopies, sigmoidoscopies and fecal occult blood tests outweigh the benefits.