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Colorectal Cancer Screening—United States, 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008

Of the types of cancer that affect both men and women, colorectal (colon) cancercolorectal (colon) cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Screening testsScreening tests reduce illness and death from colorectal cancer.

This study estimated differences in colorectal cancer screening rates between people in different groups, and compared the rates in 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008. See the results. The following groups were compared—

  • Age groups (50–64 and 65 or older).
  • Sex.
  • Race and ethnicity.
  • Education level.
  • Annual household income.
  • Whether the person has a disability.
  • Whether the person has health insurance.

The study also divided the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia into four groups (called quartiles) according to the percentage of their population that has an income below the poverty level, and compared rates of colorectal cancer screening between the states. See the results.

This study found that—

  • Overall use of colorectal cancer tests increased from 2002 to 2008.
  • People who were 65 years of age or older had a greater proportion of colorectal cancer test use than people between the ages of 50 and 64.
  • The proportion who reported having a colorectal cancer screening test within the recommended intervals was greater for non-Hispanic white people compared with people of any other race or ethnicity.
  • The difference between the white and black populations was substantially less than the difference between whites and people of other races and ethnicities.
  • Men had a greater proportion of colorectal cancer screening test use than women.
  • People who reported having a disability had a higher proportion of colorectal cancer screening test use than those without disabilities.
  • People who had health insurance had a higher proportion of colorectal cancer screening test use than those without health insurance.
  • People with higher education levels had a higher proportion of colorectal cancer screening test use than those with less education.
  • People with lower household income had a lower proportion of colorectal cancer screening test use than those with higher household income.
  • Among state quartiles, reported screening rates decreased with increasing levels of poverty.

The chapter Colorectal Cancer Screening—United States, 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008 was published January 14, 2011, as part of a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) supplement. Authors include Sun Hee Rim, Djenaba A. Joseph, C. Brooke Steele, Trevor D. Thompson, and Laura C. Seeff.

 
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