The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced this week it has awarded a total of $22,800,000 to 24 state health departments, as well as six universities, and one American Indian tribe to increase colorectal screening.
The grants, awarded in a competitive process, are designed to increase colorectal (colon) cancer screening rates among men and women aged 50 to 75 years.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer of both men and women in the United States, but it does not have to be.
Screening can find precancerous polyps—abnormal growths in the colon or rectum—so they can be removed before turning into cancer.
Screening also helps reduce deaths due to colorectal cancer.
“Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer of both men and women in the United States, but most colorectal cancer can be prevented,” said Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Screening saves lives and funds we are providing the states will support doctors, nurses, and others to save lives.”
The grantees receiving the awards include the California Department of Public Health.
“We are enthusiastic about these grantees promoting more colorectal cancer screening,” said Lisa Richardson, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control. “We know that colorectal cancer screening can prevent illness and death from colorectal cancer. The more people that are screened, the fewer cases of this cancer we’ll see in the future.”
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends colorectal cancer screening for men and women aged 50–75 using high-sensitivity fecal occult blood testing (FOBT), sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy. CDC is requiring all grantee Colorectal Cancer Control Programs (CRCCP) to work with health systems partners to use a combination of evidence-based strategies to increase the number of people screened. These evidence-based strategies include patient and provider reminders, provider assessment and feedback as recommended by the Task Force on Community Preventive Services. They will implement these strategies considering the unique needs and situations of their health systems partners.
Each grantee must target their services towards the following:
Adults 50-75 years of age without symptoms;
Low-income, under- or uninsured, racial and ethnic groups disproportionately affected and/or with geographic barriers to screening; and
For more information about the program, visit www.cdc.gov/cancer/crccp/.