Background: The purpose of the current study was to provide health professionals, professional organizations, policy makers, and the general public with a practical blueprint for increasing the practice of screening for colorectal carcinoma (CRC) and adenomatous polyps over the next decade. The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) was founded in 1997 by the American Cancer Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide strategic leadership, advocacy, long-range planning, and coordination of interventions targeted at reducing the disease burden of CRC through education, early detection, and prevention. The NCCRT and its three workgroups include CRC survivors; recognized experts in primary care, gastroenterology, radiology, colorectal surgery, nursing, public policy, epidemiology, and behavioral science; patient advocates; and representatives of health plans and insurers, government, and other organizations.
Methods: The NCCRT performed a literature review of published and unpublished data related to CRC screening guidelines, compliance, and barriers to adherence, as well as test effectiveness and cost-effectiveness. Members of the three NCCRT workgroups developed summary reports regarding professional education, public education and awareness, and health policy. A drafting committee developed the final strategic plan from workgroup reports, which was reviewed by the entire NCCRT membership, amended, and subsequently approved in final form.
Results and conclusions: Although the rationale for population-wide CRC screening is well established, the majority of adults in the U.S. are not currently being screened for CRC. Thus, the nation foregoes an opportunity to reduce CRC-related mortality by an estimated >or= 50%. To increase CRC screening rates, the issues of patient and physician barriers to screening, lack of universal coverage, lack of incentives to motivate adherence, and expanded infrastructure must be addressed.
Copyright 2002 American Cancer Society.