May 19, 2021 2:00 PM

Read Time: 2 minutes

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On May 18, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released updated screening recommendations for colorectal cancer, based on a rigorous review of existing peer-reviewed evidence. All average-risk adults are now recommended to start colorectal cancer screening at age 45. Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah (U of U) strongly supports this change and has updated colorectal cancer screening guidelines to align with the USPSTF recommendation.

“45 is the new 50. The updated colorectal cancer screening recommendation from the USPSTF is a welcome and necessary step to make colorectal cancer screening more accessible and effective,” says Sachin Apte, MD, MS, MBA, HCI chief clinical officer and cancer hospital physician-in-chief.

According to the American Cancer Society, in 2021, nearly 900 Utahns will be diagnosed with colon and rectum cancer. Over the last three decades, colorectal cancer survival in the United States has improved significantly, yet a growing body of research indicates a trend of higher incidence and mortality of colorectal cancer in younger adults.

“This change reflects an important step forward in early detection and prevention of colorectal cancer,” says Apte. “Screening helps prevent cancer and find cancer early, when it is easier to treat. HCI endorses this new recommendation and reiterates that colorectal cancer screening begin at age 45 for those at average risk. Talk to your doctor or health care provider about which cancer screening is right for you.”

With this new recommendation, Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial insurance coverage of colorectal screening beginning at age 45 will now be mandated by law, under the Affordable Care Act.

For more information, visit USPSTF,, or contact HCI’s Cancer Learning Center at 1-888-424-2100.

Media Contact

Heather Simonsen
Public Relations – Huntsman Cancer Institute
Email Us
801 581-3194

colorectal cancer cancer prevention cancer screening

About Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah

Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah is the official cancer center of Utah and the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the Mountain West. The campus includes a state-of-the-art cancer specialty hospital and two buildings dedicated to cancer research. Huntsman Cancer Institute provides patient care, cancer screening, and education at community clinics and affiliate hospitals throughout the Mountain West. It is consistently recognized among the best cancer hospitals in the country by U.S. News and World Report. The region’s first proton therapy center opened in 2021 and a major hospital expansion is underway. Huntsman Cancer Institute is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment for staff, students, patients, and communities. Advancing cancer research discoveries and treatments to meet the needs of patients who live far away from a major medical center is a unique focus. More genes for inherited cancers have been discovered at Huntsman Cancer Institute than at any other cancer center, including genes responsible for breast, ovarian, colon, head and neck cancers, and melanoma. Huntsman Cancer Institute was founded by Jon M. and Karen Huntsman.

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