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Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Americans should start getting screened for colon cancer at age 45 instead of at 50, according to new guidance from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

Why it matters: The taskforce said the recommendation reflects the fact that colon cancer — the third-leading cause of cancer death for men and women in the country — is increasingly occurring among adults younger than 50.

  • It also means that most insurance companies will have to cover the screenings with no copay, according to AP.

By the numbers: Colorectal cancer is most common in adults 65 to 74 years old, but the number of new cases in adults 40 to 49 years old has increased by almost 15% from 2000-2002 to 2014-2016, according to USPSTF, which is funded by the Department of Health and Human Services.

  • An estimated 25.6% of eligible adults in the country had never been screened for colorectal cancer in 2016, and in 2018, 31.2% of eligible adults were not up to date with screenings.
  • Around 53,000 people in the U.S. are projected to die of colorectal cancer this year.

What they're saying: "The USPSTF concludes with moderate certainty that screening for colorectal cancer in adults aged 45 to 49 years has moderate net benefit," the taskforce said in its decision.

The big picture: The rate of new cases and deaths from colon cancer have decreased in recent years in part from more screening tests, according to AP.

Go deeper

Aug 24, 2021 - Health

U.S. task force lowers recommended age for type 2 diabetes screening to 35

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force on Tuesday lowered the recommended starting age to screen for type 2 diabetes from age 40 to 35, and said overweight or obese adults at risk for prediabetes should be screened at ages 35 to 70.

Why it matters: Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure and new cases of blindness in the U.S. and is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. About 13% of U.S. adults have diabetes and another 35% are prediabetic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Updated 1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a powerful and potentially historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring an array of hazards, from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten coastal property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Republican-led Pennsylvania court deems mail-in voting law unconstitutional

Workers count ballots for the 2020 Presidential election at the Philadelphia Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Nov. 3, 2020. Photo: Hannah Yoon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Republican-led Pennsylvania court on Friday ruled that the state's mail-in voting law is unconstitutional.

Driving the news: Three Republican judges sided with Republican challengers and ruled that no-excuse mail-in voting is prohibited under the state's constitution. Two Democrats on the panel dissented.