Earlier Colon Cancer Screenings; Mental Health Provider Response; Youth Transgender Care Restricted

New guidelines recommend that Americans be screened for colon cancer sooner; Johns Hopkins University Will Send Health Care Providers For Safety Calls; Tennessee governor signs bill restricting health care for transgender youth.

Colon cancer screenings should begin at age 45

The United States Preventive Services Task Force has announced that Americans should be screened for colon cancer at age 45 rather than age 50, The Associated Press reports. The new guidelines reflect trends that colorectal cancer has become increasingly common in younger adults since the early 2000s. Currently, the cancer claims about 50,000 lives per year, although the number of cases and deaths has declined in recent years, partly as a result of more screening tests. Previous guidelines recommended that people aged 50 to 75 be screened. The decision also means that most insurance plans should cover the tests without a copay, while how often people are checked will depend on the type of screening chosen.

Mental health providers to respond to security calls

According to The Baltimore Sun, Johns Hopkins University will send trained caregivers to campus security for students and staff who may be in crisis. Similar pilot programs have been announced in the city and county of Baltimore, reflecting a nationwide trend to better address the mental health needs of communities to avoid unnecessary police involvement. University president Ronald J. Daniels said many calls answered by campus security could be more effectively handled by behavioral health practitioners. In the coming days and weeks, the new Behavioral Health Crisis Support Team will also be able to connect people in crisis with university support services.

Tennessee limits the care of transgender minors

According to Axios, Tennessee became the second state to pass a bill curbing medical care for transgender minors. Governor Bill Lee has signed a law that includes an amendment that prevents health care providers from prescribing hormone treatment for prepubescent transgender minors. Arkansas has banned gender-affirming care for trans children, though Governor Asa Hutchinson tried unsuccessfully to veto the bill. Numerous states have enacted similar legislation in 2021. Some doctors in these states are concerned that the new measures could put those undergoing gender-affirming treatment in precarious positions.

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