doctor discussing health issues with patient

The American Cancer Society (ACS) released a 2017 Colorectal Cancer (CRC) report that found dramatic reductions in overall CRC incidence and mortality, but also striking disparities by age, race and tumor subsite remain.

That’s according to the latest publication of Colorectal Cancer Statistics and its companion publication, Colorectal Cancer Facts & Figures, published every three years by the American Cancer Society. CRC incidence rates continue to decline in people 50 and older, dropping by 32 percent since 2000. This trend is thought to be largely a result of screening, which can prevent CRC by detecting and removing precancerous polyps. Incidence rates are dropping fastest in people ages 65 and older and for tumors located in the distal colon, while the drop is slowest for people ages 50 to 64 and for rectal tumors.

Among adults aged <50 years, CRC incidence rates increased by 22 percent from 2000 to 2013, driven solely by tumors in the distal colon and rectum. Similar to incidence patterns, CRC death rates decreased by 34 percent in people 50 and over during 2000-2014 but increased by 13 percent in those under 50.

The article also highlighted National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data indicating that from 2013 to 2015, screening with any guideline-recommended test increased from 53 to 58 percent in those ages 50 to 64, from 65 to 68 percent in those 65 and older, and from 59 to 63 percent in both age groups combined. This rise, which follows a plateau in screening between 2010 to 2013, translates to an additional 3,785,600 adults (>50 years) screened in 2015. If screening prevalence remains at the 2015 rather than the 2013 level, an estimated 39,700 additional CRC cases and 37,200 deaths will be prevented through 2030.

Public Health in Action: 80% by 2018:  New Blog by Dr. Richard Wender
The release of the 2015 NHIS data on CRC, mentioned above, is the latest indication of positive trends in screening, which is good news for the 80% by 2018 effort!   Read NCCRT Chair Dr. Richard Wender’s reflections on what this means for 80% by 2018 in his recent blog.

The Great Plains Quality Innovation Network provides technical assistance and support for organizations interested in increasing colorectal cancer screening rates.  For more information, check out the cancer prevention initiative and reach out to the appropriate local contact.