What CDC Is Doing About Colorectal Cancer

CDC aims to reduce colorectal cancer incidence and deaths, as part of the agency’s overarching goal of ensuring that people are healthy in every stage of life.

Colorectal Cancer Control Program

CDC’s Colorectal Cancer Control Program provides funding to state health departments, universities, tribes, and other organizations to increase colorectal cancer screening rates by implementing evidence-based interventions described in the Guide to Community Preventive Services.


CDC conducts a variety of colorectal cancer research activities—

  • Analyzing colorectal cancer screening rates from ongoing national surveillance systems, such as the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and the National Health Interview Survey.
  • Funding projects across the nation to identify effective intervention approaches for promoting colorectal cancer screening among diverse populations.
  • Assessing prevention behaviors among colorectal cancer survivors.
  • Assessing the impact of socioeconomic and cultural factors on colorectal cancer survivor participation in post-treatment colon examinations.
  • Measuring costs, cost efficiencies, and potential cost savings from colorectal cancer screening.
  • Assessing the capacity to perform colorectal cancer screening tests and follow-up for the U.S. population aged 50 and older.

Awareness and Education

Screen for Life: National Colorectal Cancer Action Campaign

CDC’s Screen for Life: National Colorectal Cancer Action Campaign is a multimedia effort promoting colorectal cancer screening. Launched in 1999, this campaign informs men and women about colorectal cancer and the importance of screening.

National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable

CDC is a founding member of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable,external icon a network of public and private organizations that promote colorectal cancer awareness and screening on the national level.

Other Activities

CDC also contributes to the fight against colorectal cancer by—

  • Translating research into public health programs, practices, and services.
  • Building state and national partnerships.
  • Monitoring and reporting on national screening rates.
  • Increasing awareness of screening guidelines among health care providers.
  • Providing guidance and tools for clinicians on the optimal ways to implement screening for colorectal cancer to help ensure that patients receive maximum benefit.
  • Promoting increased patient-provider communication about colorectal cancer screening.

Ongoing Work

CDC promotes nationwide colorectal cancer awareness, education, and screening by—

  • Funding state programs to implement specific colorectal cancer strategies identified in their states’ cancer control plans through the National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program.
  • Supporting epidemiologic, surveillance, and behavioral science research designed to expand the knowledge base and guide future interventions related to colorectal cancer. The results of this research help CDC focus its policies, programs, and campaigns on effective ways to increase screening rates, improve the quality of screening, and reduce deaths from colorectal cancer.
Page last reviewed: February 8, 2021