The Love Your Colon initiative has been designed to make it easy for key stakeholders to raise awareness of the importance of screening for colorectal cancer. In doing so, we hope to promote good health and reduce costs associated with colorectal cancer.
Screening for colorectal cancer saves lives. The evidence for this is so compelling that the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT), a coalition of public, private, and voluntary organizations, has set a goal for screening rates.
NCCRT Goal: 80% Screened by 20181,2
Working Toward the Goal
The 80% by 2018 goal is achievable by setting up colorectal cancer screening protocols based on national guidelines. For people who have no symptoms and no increased risk of colorectal cancer, guidelines call for the following preventive tests starting at age 453,4:
|Fecal occult blood test (FOBT) or fecal immunochemical test (FIT), or||Every year5|
|Stool DNA test, or||Every 3 years5|
|Flexible sigmoidoscopy (FSIG), or double-contrast barium enema (DCBE), or CT colonography||Every 5 years5|
|Colonoscopy||Every 10 years5|
Join the Effort
Work Around Your Community to Raise Screening Awareness
Schedule live seminars
- Raise the comfort level in screening by utilizing local volunteers and reputable physicians to facilitate more open communication through sequential, educational seminars that can be archived and viewed on demand
Improve screening quality
- Trained and skilled technicians perform the recommended tests at intervals based on each patient’s risk, age, and history and provide appropriate and timely reporting and follow-up6
Schedule employer/employee state health fairs
- Promote expanded screening access and testing options both within the system and in the communities it serves
Identify those who may slip through the cracks
- Reminder and educational interventions in some minority populations (such as African Americans and Hispanics) have been effective, resulting in a 10%-15% increase in screening rates7
Offer one-on-one educational sessions
- Organize mini seminars that can be conducted via telephone or in private community settings by volunteers or health care workers
Provide flexible screening hours
- Offer screenings on nights and weekends to accommodate patients' busy schedules
Send personalized provider reminders
- Develop customizable postcards/birthday cards that encourage appropriate candidates to get screened
Proactively send fecal occult blood tests to all patients who haven't followed up
- The Monarch study revealed that proactively sending FOBT to nonresponders helps increase screening8
Providing You with Ready-made Resources
Take a look at the available resources to see how to blend them into your existing programs or how to spearhead a new initiative. Love Your Colon gives you a head start. It is our hope that you find that this important, potentially life-saving endeavor is now easier than ever.
- 80% by 2018. National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable website. http://nccrt.org/what-we-do/80-percent-by-2018/. Accessed January 28, 2019.
- Meester RG, Doubeni CA, Zauber AG, et al. Public health impact of achieving 80% colorectal cancer screening rates in the United States by 2018. Cancer. 2015;121(13):2281-2285.
- Wolf AM, Fontham ET, Church TR, et al. Colorectal cancer screening for average-risk adults: 2018 guideline update from the American Cancer Society. CA Cancer J Clin. 2018;68(4):250-281.
- American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2019. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society Pub. No. 500819. https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/annual-cancer-facts-and-figures/2019/cancer-facts-and-figures-2019.pdf. Accessed January 28, 2019.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Colorectal cancer screening. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/pdf/basic_fs_eng_color.pdf. Accessed January 28, 2019.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Increasing Quality Colorectal Cancer Screening and Promoting Screen Quality: An Action Guide for Engaging Employers and Professional Medical Organizations. https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/crccp/pdf/employersguidefinal.pdf. Accessed January 28, 2019.
- Jackson CS, Oman M, Patel AM, Vega KJ. Health disparities in colorectal cancer among racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. J Gastrointest Oncol. 2016;7(Suppl 1):S32-S43.
- Sinha M. Improving patient engagement boosts colorectal cancer screening rates. CAPG Health. 2017;11(2):30-31,48.