Guthrie Applauds Celebrities Promoting Colonoscopy at Age 45

September 20, 2022

Guthrie hopes a recent celebrity spotlight on colonoscopy screening beginning at age 45 will help save lives. Actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, who both turned 45 this year, had their colonoscopies documented on TV.   

About 1 in 24 people in the United States develop colorectal cancer, with diagnosis happening at a younger age. The recommended age for colonoscopy screening is now 45 which has added around 20 million Americans to the screening pool. Guthrie Gastroenterologist Dr. Sadid Askarian says early detection is key, allowing for the removal of enlarged or cancerous polyps.  

“Early timeliness and catching things earlier before it has the ability to potentially spread elsewhere in the body is of key and utmost importance. I cannot stress that enough,” said Dr. Askarian. “Getting it done on time and early enough as per the recommendations is going to be better for your health overall.”  

For individuals with family history, either a first-degree relative or multiple second-degree relatives, the age for initial screening is even lower at 40.  

“Or it’s going to be 10 years younger than the earliest diagnosed first-degree relative or other similar relative,” said Dr. Askarian. “Say you had a brother who was diagnosed at 38 years old, then you would start your colonoscopy at 28 years old.”  

Dr. Askarian urges patients who waited due to COVID or those who fear the process itself to get screened. The procedure generally takes no more than a half hour and can save your life. “Honestly, this is one of the very few procedures in the whole medical world that truly, truly prevents cancer. I cannot stress that enough. Prevention is key.”