Late Breaking News
CDC Funds Colorectal Cancer Screening in Twenty-Six States
washington—Last month, CDC announced that it has awarded a total of $22 million to 26 states and tribal organizations in order to provide colorectal cancer screening services for low–income people aged 50–64 years, who are underinsured or uninsured.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women aged 50 and older in the United States.
The awards range from $358,283 to $1.1 million and awardees are expected to begin screening patients for colorectal cancer within six months. This funding will support screening and diagnostic follow–up care, data collection and tracking, public education and outreach, provider education, and an evaluation to measure the clinical outcomes, costs, and effectiveness of the program. The awardees can choose from among any of three recommended screenings for colorectal cancer – colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy and stool testing.
“Colorectal cancer kills more people than any other cancer except lung cancer,” said CDC Director Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, in a statement. “These colorectal cancer screening awards will save lives. We need to reach more adults aged 50 and over and others at high risk to prevent colorectal cancer.”
In 2005, more than 141,000 new cases of colorectal cancer were diagnosed and 53,000 people died from this disease. According to the CDC, the number of new colorectal cancer cases could be reduced by as much as 90% if all precancerous polyps (abnormal growths in the colon or rectum), were identified using screening tests and removed before they became cancerous. However, only half of all U.S. adults aged 50 or older have been screened appropriately for colorectal cancer. While screening rates are slowly increasing, demographic disparities still exist. Screening rates remain higher for whites compared to all other races, for non–Hispanics compared to Hispanics, and for people with health insurance compared to those without health insurance.
The states receiving five–year awards are: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, and Washington. The tribal organizations receiving awards are: Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Arctic Slope Native Association, South Puget Intertribal Planning Agency, and Southcentral Foundation.
The goals of CDC’s colorectal cancer screening program are to increase population–level screening among all persons aged 50 and older in the participating states and tribes, and to reduce health disparities in colorectal cancer screening, incidence and mortality.