Increased use of colorectal cancer tests--United States, 2002 and 2004

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2006 Mar 24;55(11):308-11.


Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death (after lung/bronchus cancer) in the United States. In 2002, a total of 139,534 adults in the United States had colorectal cancer diagnosed, and 56,603 died. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and other national organizations recommend that adults aged >/=50 years be screened for colorectal cancer with one or more of the following tests: fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) every year, sigmoidoscopy or double-contrast barium enema every 5 years, or colonoscopy every 10 years. To estimate current rates of use of colorectal cancer screening tests and to evaluate changes in test use, CDC compared data from the 2002 and 2004 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) surveys. This report describes the results of that comparison, which indicated that the proportion of BRFSS respondents reporting use of FOBT and/or sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy had increased overall from 2002 to 2004. Measures to increase awareness and encourage regular colorectal cancer screening must be continued to reduce mortality from colorectal cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
  • Colonoscopy / statistics & numerical data
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data*
  • Occult Blood
  • Sigmoidoscopy / statistics & numerical data
  • United States / epidemiology