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Federal Advocacy Priorities

Fight Colorectal Cancer is on the ground in Washington, D.C., educating policymakers and ensuring that the colorectal cancer community is represented when and where policy is created.

By 2030, colorectal cancer is projected to be the #1 cancer killer for those under 50. 

This is not new. For the past several decades, we have seen an increase in colorectal cancer diagnoses among young people. But federal investment and innovation have not kept pace. As a result, over 60% of colorectal cancer patients under 50 are diagnosed at a late stage when the disease is challenging to treat, and there are few treatment options. 

The federal government must do more to address this growing crisis. Here's where to start:

Direct the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to develop a strategic action plan for colorectal cancer

  • The NCI has failed to prioritize colorectal cancer. There has been a lack of progress in the development of effective therapeutics for colorectal cancer, and more must be done to address the rising rates of colorectal cancer in people under the age of 50 and the persistent health disparities in colorectal cancer prevalence, screening, and outcomes.
  • NCI funding for colorectal cancer has not seen consistent increases and there is no strategic plan to direct funds
  • NCI needs to develop a strategic action plan guided by diverse representatives from the colorectal cancer community, including colorectal cancer patients, patient organizations, industry, academic researchers and community-based providers as well as relevant federal healthcare agencies.

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NCI Strategic Plan Issue Brief

Direct the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to develop a strategic action plan for colorectal cancer.

Create a Colorectal Cancer Research Program within the Department of Defense (DoD) 

  • Currently colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for men and women and the only top 5 cancer killer not to have it’s own research program within the DoD Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP). 
  • Colorectal cancer diagnoses are increasing in young people. Those born in 1990 - a key demographic for active duty military - have double the risk of colon cancer and quadruple the risk of rectal cancer as those born in 1950. 
  • We are leaving good science on the table. In FY20, the DoD received 60 colorectal cancer applications. Of those, 27 were deemed “highly meritorious”, but only 11 were funded. 

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DoD CRC Research Program Issue Brief

To make meaningful progress in the fight against CRC and address the increase in early-age onset CRC, we need a program dedicated specifically to colorectal cancer.

Increase Funding for Colorectal Cancer Screening

  • The CDC’s Colorectal Cancer Control Program (CRCCP) works to increase screening among people age 45-75, particularly in underserved communities 
  • It implements strategies that have been proven to increase screening including a reminder system for medical professionals and patients that it is time for screening, providing transportation and child care, extending clinic hours, simplifying paperwork, and offering patient navigators to help patients through the screening process
  • The program has increased screening rates by an average of 12.3% in the first four years, saving money and saving lives

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CDC Colorectal Cancer Control Program

The Colorectal Cancer Control Program partners with state health departments, universities and tribal organizations to implement evidence-based programs to increase screening

Increase Funding for Colorectal Cancer Research

  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the nation’s preeminent medical research center and is at the leading edge of breakthrough medical research in the United States and around the world.
  • The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is the principal agency for cancer research. The NCI works on everything from essential research to clinical trials and leads the cancer research community towards improved prevention and treatment options.
  • Research takes time and resources. The NIH and NCI need increased and predictable federal investment to continue the development of new treatments and cures for those with colorectal cancer. 

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NCI and NIH Funding Increase

Research takes time and resources. The NIH and NCI need increased and predictable federal investment to continue the development of new treatments and cures for those with colorectal cancer.

Congressional Colorectal Cancer Caucus

The Congressional Colorectal Cancer Caucus is a bipartisan group of members of Congress led by Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-NJ) and Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL), dedicated to working collaboratively to increase access to screening and advance biomedical research to ensure more effective lines of treatment, and ultimately find a cure for colorectal cancer. 

The caucus will help to raise awareness about the challenges faced by the colorectal cancer community among policymakers and their staff, as well as support policy solutions to improve the lives of all patients, survivors, and their loved ones.

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Congressional CRC Caucus

Ask your member of Congress to be a champion and join the Congressional Colorectal Cancer Caucus today.

Other Issues We're Fighting For

Oral Chemotherapy Parity
Access to Clinical Trials
Health Disparities
Access to Biomarker Testing
Young Adult Cancer Survivorship Issues
Prevention & Screening
Access to Care

Quality of Care
Medicare and Medicaid
Pre-existing Conditions Protections
Annual & Lifetime Coverage Caps
Guaranteed Renewability
Pharmaceutical Pricing

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State Advocacy Priorities

With advocates across the country, we can be on the ground advocating for policies that will increase access to colorectal cancer screening in every community. Learn about the state advocacy priorities we are currently monitoring.

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