What We’re Reading: Earlier Colon Cancer Screenings; Mental Health Provider Response; Youth Transgender Care Restricted

New guidelines recommend Americans get screened earlier for colon cancer; Johns Hopkins University will send mental health providers on security calls; Tennessee's governor signs bill limiting health care for transgender youth.

Colon Cancer Screenings Should Start at Age 45

The United States Preventive Services Task Force announced Americans should start getting screened for colon cancer at age 45 instead of age 50, The Associated Press reports. The new guidelines reflect trends that colorectal cancer has been increasingly appearing in younger adults since the early 2000s. Currently, the cancer claims around 50,000 lives a year, although cases and deaths have declined in recent years due in part to more screening tests. Previous guidelines recommended those aged 50 to 75 get screened. The decision also means most insurance plans would have to cover the tests with no copay, while how often people get checked depends on the type of screening chosen.

Mental Health Providers to Respond to Security Calls

Johns Hopkins University will begin sending trained mental health providers on calls to campus security from students and staff who may be having a crisis, according to The Baltimore Sun. Similar pilot programs have been announced in Baltimore city and county, reflecting a nationwide trend of better catering to mental health needs of communities to avoid unnecessary police involvement. University President Ronald J. Daniels said many calls being addressed by campus safety could be more effectively handled by behavioral health clinicians. The new Behavioral Health Crisis Support Team can also connect individuals in crisis to university support services in the following days and weeks.

Tennessee Restricts Care for Transgender Minors

Reported by Axios, Tennessee became the second state to pass a bill curbing medical care for transgender minors. Governor Bill Lee signed a law that includes an amendment preventing health care providers from prescribing hormone treatment for prepubescent transgender minors. Arkansas has banned gender-affirming care for trans children, although Governor Asa Hutchinson unsuccessfully sought to veto the bill. Numerous states have introduced similar legislation in 2021. Some doctors in these states fear the new measures could leave those undergoing gender-affirming treatment in uncertain positions.