Preventative Care and 1 more...less...

G3O1. Increase screenings for preventative diseases that is in our top 10 causes of deaths

Increase the percentage of adults 50-75 who received a colorectal cancer screening


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Story Behind the Curve

Source:  Last accessed 6/29/2022

Colorectal Cancer Screening

U.S. Value: 74.3%

Healthiest State: Maine: 81.2%

Least-healthy State: California: 62.4%

Definition: Percentage of adults ages 50-75 who reported receiving one or more of the recommended colorectal cancer screening tests within the recommended time interval (blood stool test within the past year, sigmoidoscopy within the past five years, colonoscopy within the past 10 years, stool DNA test within the past three years, virtual colonoscopy within the past five years or sigmoidoscopy within the past 10 years and blood stool test in the past year)

Data Source & Year(s): CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2020

Suggested Citation: America's Health Rankings analysis of CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United Health Foundation,, accessed 2022.


There is strong evidence that screening for colorectal cancer reduces mortality by removing precancerous growths and increasing early detection, which is optimal for effective treatment. Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths and the third most common cancer for both men and women in the United States. The American Cancer Society‚Äôs Cancer Facts & Figures 2021 report projects 149,500 new cases of colorectal cancer and over 52,980 colorectal cancer deaths in 2021.

According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, screening for colorectal cancer, which may include fecal sample testing, colonoscopy and/or sigmoidoscopy, is recommended for all adults ages 50-75. Screening at earlier ages is recommended for those with particular risk factors or a family history of colorectal cancer. 

Multiple studies have shown that screening for colorectal cancer is cost-effective compared to not screening. An estimated 24-28 colorectal cancer deaths can be averted for every 1,000 adults screened.


Populations of adults ages 50-75 with a higher percentage of colorectal screening include:

  • Females compared with males. 
  • Non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic Black adults compared with Hispanic adults.
  • College graduates compared with those with lower education levels. 
  • Adults with an annual household income of $75,000 or more compared with those with an income of less than $25,000.
  • Adults with health insurance compared with those who are uninsured. 
  • Adults with a regular health care provider compared with those without a regular provider.


A leading health indicator for Healthy People 2030 is to increase the proportion of adults ages 50-75 who receive a colorectal cancer screening.

What Works


There are numerous strategies for increasing colorectal cancer screening. The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps recommendation include:

  • Using patient navigators, also called system navigators, to help guide patients through medical, insurance and social support systems.
  • Providing financial incentives, such as payments or vouchers, for preventive care.

The Community Guide recommends a multicomponent approach. The guide has several strategies that work best when more than one are used together. These strategies include

  • Media campaigns to increase awareness.
  • Client reminders.
  • Cost reduction.
  • Removal of barriers in transportation and language.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has implemented a Colorectal Cancer Control Program that focuses on increasing screening in targeted groups. The National Colorectal Roundtable has resources for increasing colorectal cancer screening rates in clinical practice and in community health centers

Source: Last accessed 6/29/2022

Corrective Action
PoE Last accessed 7/6/2022

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