CDC: More Americans Need Colorectal Cancer Screening

Since the first day we opened our doors as an advocacy group, we have supported and advocated for Centers for Disease Control (CDC) funding. The CDC is the cornerstone of our country’s cancer prevention efforts, saving the lives of Americans and keeping a watchful eye on our country’s disparate populations. The CDC is at the front lines.

CDC: A Leader in Cancer Control

We see the CDC as a leader in cancer control. This group develops and implements effective, evidence-based cancer prevention programs. In the last five years, the Colorectal Cancer Prevention and Control Program (CRCCP) has increased access to screening and improved diagnostic care, case management and treatment referral systems across the nation. This national program has elevated the conversations regarding colorectal cancer by bringing the best and brightest to the table to address the serious need to increase awareness without leaving behind the uninsured in our country. Thousands of lives have been impacted through this program. CDC programs are at the front lines of public health.

Bottom Line: More Work To Do

On November 5, 2013 a new Vital Signs report published by the CDC showed that about 23 million adults have never been tested for colorectal cancer, as recommended by screening guidelines. Their analyses showed that among those who had never been screened, 76 percent actually had health insurance. This was the first time in many years that the screening rates had “leveled off” – rates steadily grew up until 2010 but showed no growth in the latest report. We’re concerned since 60 percent of CRC deaths today could be prevented through colorectal cancer screening.

See an Infographic of the CDC’s Recommendations for Screening for Colorectal Cancer

What We Make of This Report

Fight Colorectal Cancer is a loud voice on the Hill for the CDC and there were some important facts highlighted in the latest Vital Signs report regarding colorectal cancer:

  • There is a need for additional interventions to increase screening, even among those with access to health care.
  • Federal budget decisions and cuts will impact vital programs like cancer research and cancer control programs.

As we approach March 2014, Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, we need to remember the importance of our unified voices. We can’t underestimate the need for OUR advocacy and support for programs like the CDC.

Programs like the CRCCP are making a difference in 25 states and four tribes, providing access to care and education about colorectal cancer prevention and screening. Let’s not lose ground.

Join us at the 2014 Call on Congress – Register today.

Or if you can’t make it, become an eAdvocate.

Help us make colorectal cancer a national priority.

Source: Carrie N. Klabunde, PhD, Applied Research Program, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland. Djenaba A. Joseph, MD, Jessica B. King, MPH, Arica White, PhD, Marcus Plescia, MD, Div of Cancer Prevention and Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC. Corresponding contributor: Djenaba A. Joseph, MD, 770-488-3157.

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