People of average risk should begin screening for colorectal cancer at age 45 and continue until age 75, according to revised guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). With this new recommendation, screening would start five years earlier than the previously recommended age 50, an important change applauded by colorectal cancer experts at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center &ndash; Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC &ndash; James). Colorectal cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, yet about a quarter of people of ages 50 to 75 have never been screened for the disease. For the first time, the task force is recommending that all adults of ages 45 to 75 be screened to reduce their risk of dying of this disease. The recommendation includes two types of tests: direct visualization (colonoscopy) and physician-ordered stool-based tests. For adults of ages 76 to 85, the updated guidelines note the benefits and harms of screening depend on an individual&rsquo;s overall health and personal circumstances, and people should talk to their clinician about whether screening for colorectal cancer is right for them. Heather Hampel, LGC, MS, says this is a welcome change that will undoubtedly save lives through early detection, noting that people born after 1960 are twice as likely to develop colon cancer and four times as likely to get rectal cancer as people born before 1960, based on recent studies to predict cancer risk in the general population. &ldquo;Rates of early-onset colorectal cancer have been rising dramatically. Modeling studies have shown that the risk for colorectal cancer at age 45 today is the same as it was at age 50 when the original USPSTF guidelines were issued,&rdquo; explains Hampel, who leads the Pelotonia-funded Ohio Colorectal Cancer Prevention Initiative (OCCPI), a statewide research initiative that has screened more than 3,300 newly diagnosed colorectal cancer patients and their family members in Ohio. In 2018, the American Cancer Society recommended colorectal cancer screening begin at age 45 based on modeling data. Hampel notes that this caused some confusion and that some insurance companies would not cover the screening until age 50. &ldquo;This is why it is very important that the USPSTF has now confirmed that colorectal cancer screening should begin at age 45. Since the Affordable Care Act mandates that insurance companies cover preventive services with a Grade B or higher recommendation from the USPSTF with no copay, this screening should now be covered,&rdquo; says Hampel. Ohio State offers screening colonoscopy at locations across Columbus. To learn more about colorectal cancer treatment at the OSUCCC &ndash; James, visit cancer.osu.edu/coloncancer. To schedule a colonoscopy, call 614-293-6255.