Trends in screening for colorectal cancer--United States, 1997 and 1999

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2001 Mar 9;50(9):162-6.


Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. An estimated 135,400 new cases and 56,700 deaths from colorectal cancer are expected during 2001. Since the mid-1990s, national guidelines have recommended that persons aged >50 years at average risk for colorectal cancer should have screening tests regularly. To estimate rates for the use of colorectal cancer screening tests and to evaluate trends in test use, CDC analyzed data from the 1999 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) on the use of a home administered fecal occult blood test (FOBT) and sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy, and then compared them with similar data from 1997. The findings in this report indicate that the proportion of the U.S. population that has been screened remains low. In 1999, 44% of BRFSS respondents reported receiving FOBT and/or sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy within the recommended period compared with approximately 41% reporting FOBT and/or sigmoidoscopy/proctoscopy within the recommended period in 1997. Efforts to address barriers and to promote the use of colorectal cancer screening should be intensified.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Colonoscopy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / trends*
  • Middle Aged
  • Occult Blood
  • Sigmoidoscopy / statistics & numerical data
  • United States / epidemiology