Use of colorectal cancer tests--United States, 2002, 2004, and 2006

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2008 Mar 14;57(10):253-8.


Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States among cancers that affect both men and women. The U.S. Preventive Task Force and other national organizations recommend that persons aged > or =50 years at average risk be screened for colorectal cancer using one or more of the following methods: fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) every year, sigmoidoscopy or double-contrast barium enema every 5 years, or colonoscopy every 10 years. To estimate rates of use of colorectal cancer tests and to evaluate changes in test use, CDC compared data from the 2002, 2004, and 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) surveys. This report describes the results of that comparison, which indicated that the proportion of respondents aged > or =50 years reporting use of FOBT and/or sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy increased overall from 2002 to 2006; however, certain populations, such as racial/ethnic minorities and those who reported no health insurance coverage, had lower prevalence of testing. Specific measures to increase colorectal cancer screening and address disparities in screening are needed.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
  • Colonoscopy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Healthcare Disparities
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Occult Blood*
  • Sigmoidoscopy / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States / epidemiology