When should I start getting screened for colorectal cancer?

doctor holding scope with patient

Current guidelines: Begin at age 45

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that all people at average risk begin getting checked at age 45. People at higher risk may need to be screened earlier. Ask your doctor about screening, as your ethnicity, lifestyle, and family history will impact when you should get checked.

Why was the screening age lowered?

Colorectal cancer has become a reality for many people younger than age 50, and it’s the only population with a rising incidence rate.


In the U.S., approximately 10% of colorectal cancer cases are diagnosed in individuals under age 50.


Young-onset rectal cancer incidence has increased at nearly two times the rate of young-onset colon cancer.


Researchers predict that by 2030, colorectal cancer will be the leading cause of cancer deaths in people ages 20-49.

female doctor speaking to female patient

Who is at higher risk?

The current guidelines recommend colorectal cancer screening to begin at age 45 for those at average risk.

What does that mean for people who are higher risk? And what exactly does "higher risk" mean?

Black woman CRC survivor posing with black dog

Moving forward: What do we do now?

While lowering the colorectal cancer screening age from 50 to 45 was a significant change, continued support for research and advocacy is crucial.

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