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National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month --- March 2008

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. In 2004, a total of 145,083 cases of colorectal cancer were diagnosed in U.S. adults, and 53,580 adults died from this disease (1). Although regular colorectal cancer screening can reduce the incidence of and mortality from this disease, (2) approximately 40% of U.S. residents who should be screened for colorectal cancer have not been screened in accordance with national guidelines (3).

CDC is engaged in a number of activities aimed at colorectal cancer prevention and control, including conducting behavioral research, monitoring national surveillance data, and supporting educational and screening initiatives. CDC established a colorectal cancer screening demonstration program in 2005 for low-income and underinsured or uninsured persons in the United States. CDC also educates the public about the benefits of colorectal cancer screening through its Screen for Life: National Colorectal Cancer Action Campaign. Additional information about CDC colorectal cancer control programs is available at


  1. US Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States cancer statistics: 2004 incidence and mortality (preliminary data). Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, National Cancer Institute; 2007.
  2. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Guide to clinical preventive services, 2005: recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2005. AHRQ publication no. 05-0570. Available at
  3. CDC. Use of colorectal cancer tests---United States, 2002, 2004, and 2006. MMWR 2008;57:253--8.

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Date last reviewed: 3/13/2008

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