Use of Colorectal Cancer Screening Tests

2020 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

About 7 in 10 US adults aged 50 to 75 are up-to-date with colorectal cancer screening.

Colorectal cancer affects men and women of all racial and ethnic groups and is most often found in people who are 50 years old or older. Colorectal cancer screening saves lives. Screening can find precancerous polyps—abnormal growths in the colon or rectum—that can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening also helps find colorectal cancer at an early stage, when treatment works best.

CDC scientists used 2020 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), which asked people across the United States whether they had been screened for colorectal cancer. In 2020, for the first time, the survey asked questions about fecal immunochemical test (FIT)-DNA and computed tomography (CT) colonography.

Please note: In May 2021, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force changed its colorectal cancer screening recommendation.external icon The age at which adults at average risk of getting colorectal cancer were recommended to begin screening was lowered from 50 to 45. The data shown here do not include adults younger than age 50.

71.6%

The percentage of adults aged 50 to 75 who were up-to-date with colorectal cancer screening based on all test types (FIT, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, FIT-DNA, and CT colonography) in 2020.

64 million

The estimated number of adults aged 50 to 75 who were screened for colorectal cancer in 2020.

19.9%

The percentage of adults aged 50 to 75 who had never been screened for colorectal cancer in 2020.

69.7%

The percentage of adults aged 50 to 75 years who were up-to-date with screening by FIT, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy. This percentage is comparable to data as analyzed from the 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018 BRFSS.

Page last reviewed: November 3, 2021