Its a good question, and one I was just discussing with a friend of my wife's who does market research for a health insurance company.
It basically comes down to statistics. 90% of CRC cases are still dx in the >50 population. There are cases where there is recommendation for colonoscopies for those under 50. If a direct relative is dx, then you should be tested 10 years earlier than the age at which that relative was dx. For example, I was dx at age 48 so my children should begin screening at age 38.
I think there should be at least consideration of other risk factors (my personal feeling). For example, I was a gastric bypass patient. There's more and more evidence of higher CRC risk in the GBP population, so I personally think there should be guidelines for screening for that group (probably 3-5 years post-surgery but there probably needs to be more research into that).
I am aware there are some petitions going around to lower the recommended screening age to 40.
And I also think it's up to people like us, those with the disease and caregivers to make people aware of the symptoms, and urge people to request screening when they have them. I think it's also important for us to debunk the social stigma associated with colonoscopies to the extent we can. There's a lot of resistance to the procedure.
For those interested, FightCRC's annual Call-on-Congress event is now open for registration for 2016 (http://www.CallOnCongress.org
). I went for the first time this year and found it very rewarding to be able to meet with my elected representative (more often their staff but staff are the movers and shakers), tell my story with other advocates and help to influence policy.
50 YO Husband & father of 2 teenagers.
DX 9/9/13 Stage 4 cc (at age 48)
16 Rounds FOLFOX + Avastin (Oct-13 to May-14)
Maintenance chemo - Avastin & 5-FU infusions (Jun-14 to Jul-15)
Jul-15: Mets to lymph nodes, resuming FOLFOX
Sep-15: MRI showed stability, back to maintenance chemo.