The American Cancer Society has updated its guidelines for colon and rectal cancer screenings and recommends that adults get screened started at age 45 instead of 50. The Colorectal Cancer Alliance commends and endorses this effort.

On May 30, 2018, the American Cancer Society announced newly updated guidelines for colon and rectal screening. Adults at average risk should get screened as early as age 45 instead of 50. We reached out to our friends at the Colorectal Cancer Alliance for their thoughts:

The increasing incidence of colorectal cancer in younger adults is an epidemic within the cancer community. By 2030, 10.9 percent of all colon cancers and 22.9 percent of all rectal cancers will be diagnosed in patients younger than age 50.

Together we must defy and redefine the odds. Today, the American Cancer Society proposed new guidelines that colorectal cancer screening should begin at age 45 for people of average risk.

If this new guideline is adopted, fewer people will be lost to this senseless killer. We commend the American Cancer Society and fully endorse their new guideline and commitment to saving lives.

Recently, the Colorectal Cancer Alliance established the Never Too Young Advisory Board so we may all join forces and take action around the issue of young-onset colorectal cancer. We plan to invest $10 million in critical research by 2021, which includes $3 million specifically for young-onset colorectal cancer. We will also double the number of constituents we serve and save 100,000 lives by 2026 through increased screening.

Across America, our Never Too Young Advisory Board will work tirelessly to educate primary care physicians and gastrointestinal medical professionals around symptoms of young-onset colorectal cancer. We will challenge insurance companies to step up to the plate and protect the young-onset population.

While this action by the American Cancer Society does not mean colorectal cancer screening tests will now be covered by insurance plans for people under age 50, it is a wonderful victory, and it’s up to all of us to keep moving the needle forward.

Michael Sapienza, CEO
Colorectal Cancer Alliance

Read the full version of Michael’s statement here

The Colorectal Cancer Alliance is a national nonprofit committed to ending colorectal cancer. Working with our nation of passionate allies, we diligently support the needs of patients and families, caregivers, and survivors, eagerly raise awareness of preventative screening, and continually strive to fund critical research. As allies in the struggle, we are fiercely determined to end colorectal cancer within our lifetime. For more information, visit

View All Our Blog Posts >

Leave a Reply