Almost half of the colorectal cases in the United States are diagnosed at late-stages of the diseases when treatment is more difficult, according to a new report released today by the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC). Significant findings of the study “Surveillance of Screening-Detected Cancers (Colon and Rectum, Breast, and Cervix) — United States, 2004-2006” include:
* Incidence rates of late-stage colorectal cancer increased with age and were highest among black men and women.
* Late-stage colon and rectum incidence rates ranged from 51.0 to 86.5, and were highest in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
“This report causes concern because so many preventable cancers are not being diagnosed when treatment is most effective,” said Marcus Plescia, MD, MPH, Director, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control. “More work is needed to widely implement evidence-based cancer screening tests which may lead to early detection and, ultimately, an increase in the number of lives saved.”
The CDC report is the first to highlight the nationwide incidence of late-stage cancer diagnosis and cancer screening prevalence, the incidence rates of late-stage cancers differed by age, race/ethnicity, and state.
The CDC’s Colorectal Cancer Control Program currently funds colorectal cancer screening programs in 25 states and 4 tribal organizations. However, we need your help to make this program permanent! In order to expand the CDC’s Colorectal Cancer Control Program nation-wide and allow the CDC to cover treatment costs we need to get Representative Kay Granger’s “Colorectal Cancer Early Detection, Prevention and Treatment Act” enacted into law. If you haven’t already done so, please take a minute to call your Representative and ask them to cosponsor H.R. 1189.
How to Call Your Representative
* Dial the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Representative (you’ll need to know your Rep’s name).
* Once you are connected to your Representative’s office, identify yourself as a constituent.
* Leave a message asking your Representative “to cosponsor H.R. 1189 to save thousands of lives and save Medicare billions.”
Want to help increase awareness of the importance of early detection and screening in your city and state? Download our Proclamations 101 toolkit and request a proclamation recognizing March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month from your city council, mayor, and/or governor. Our toolkit includes sample letters to the editor and press releases you can use to get the word out about the importance of early detection and screening. The toolkit and more information is available online at http://link.fightcrc.org/proclamations101.