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Screening for Colorectal Cancer Should Begin at 45

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) announced its intent to recommend that colorectal cancer (CRC) screenings begin at 45 years old for individuals at average risk. The majority of health insurance carriers in the United States will follow the USPSTF recommendation once finalized. This means that people age 45 and older will, in most cases, be eligible for insurance reimbursement for CRC screening. This recommendation lowers the USPSTF’s recommendation from 50 to 45, and aligns with the American Cancer Society’s 2018 recommendation that screening begin at age 45 based on an analysis published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The recommendation is now in draft form and open for public comment. 

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) assigns one of five letter grades to each of their recommendations. The draft guidelines recommend CRC screening at age 45 at a B Grade, which means there is a high certainty of at least a moderate benefit for the service. The Task Force advises that clinical practices offer all services that have an A or B recommendation. 

As this is a draft recommendation, we urge you to share your story and voice your support for this new guidance directly to the USPSTF by November 23, when the comment period ends. All stories and comments shared here will be shared with the USPSTF at the close of the public comment period.

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Advocacy comes in many different forms. From your friends and family to state and federal policymakers, sharing your story and advocating for change can bring us closer to a world without colorectal cancer. Stay up to date on all of the opportunities to get involved and see what we can accomplish together.

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The Catalyst State-by-State Advocacy Program is a competitive grant program created to support colorectal cancer policy change at the state level. Our goal is to accelerate progress toward turning aspirational colorectal cancer screening goals into reality by increasing access and reducing barriers to colorectal cancer screening.

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