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Nation sees near doubling in colorectal cancer screening in 2015 compared with 2000

Cervical cancer screening dropped; no gain seen in breast cancer screening

Press Release

For Immediate Release: Thursday, March 2, 2017

Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

Are you up-to-date with your colorectal cancer screening?
 

Are you up to date with your colorectal cancer screening? Only 62% of people ages 50-75 have reported being current with screening. Screening can prevent colorectal cancer! Find out more at www.cdc.gov/cancer

More adults are getting recommended screening tests for colorectal cancer, but not for breast or cervical cancers, according to data released today in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The nation saw a gain in colorectal cancer screening in 2015 compared with 2000 for whom screening is recommended, from 33 percent to 62 percent in men and from 35 percent to 63 percent in women. But cervical cancer screening decreased from 88 percent to 83 percent in women ages 21 to 65 years who had not had a hysterectomy. Breast cancer screening for women ages 50 to 74 years remained constant (72 percent in 2015).

“Screening for cervical, breast, and colorectal cancer is key to preventing cancer or finding cancers at an early stage, when they are most treatable,” said Lisa C. Richardson, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control. “We will continue successful programs that have increased screening rates and will look for new ways to reach people who are not getting recommended cancer screenings.”

CDC researchers analyzed data from the 2015 National Health Interview Survey to update previous data on adult colorectal, breast, and cervical cancer screening rates. The survey is used to monitor progress toward Healthy People 2020 objectives for cancer screening based on the most recent U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations.

Key findings

Colorectal Cancer

  • Among adults ages 50 to 75 years, 62 percent reported being up-to-date with colorectal cancer screening, below the nation’s 2020 target of 70.5 percent.
  • Adults without insurance or a usual source of healthcare generally had the lowest screening rates. About 1 in 4 adults who reported having no insurance or no usual source of healthcare reported they were current on colorectal cancer screening, compared with about 2 in 3 adults with private insurance or a usual source of healthcare.
  • As education and income levels increased, the percentage of persons who received colorectal cancer screening also increased (from 46.7 percent for those with less than high school education to 70.7 percent for college graduates; from 46.9 percent for those <139 percent of the federal poverty threshold to 70.0 percent for those >400 percent).
  • By racial group, colorectal cancer screening use was lowest among American Indians/Alaska Natives (48.4 percent). By ethnicity, Hispanics reported lower screening test use (47.4 percent) than did non-Hispanics (64.2 percent).

Breast Cancer

  • Among women ages 50 to 74 years, 71.5 percent reported being current with breast cancer screening, below the nation’s 2020 target of 81.1 percent.
  • About 1 in 3 adults who reported having no insurance or no usual source of healthcare reported they were current on breast cancer screening, compared with about 3 in 4 adults with private insurance or a usual source of healthcare.
  • As education and income levels increased, the percentage of persons who received breast cancer screening also increased (from 60.3 percent for those with less than high school education to 78.9 percent for college graduates; from 58.7 percent for those <139 percent of the federal poverty threshold to 78.8 percent for those >400 percent).
  • Compared with other racial/ethnic groups, breast cancer screening was lowest among American Indians/Alaska Natives (56.7 percent). Filipino women were the only group that met the HP2020 target (81.5 percent).

Cervical Cancer

  • Among women ages 21 to 65 years, 83 percent reported being current with cervical cancer screening or cervical cancer screening with an HPV test, below the nation’s 2020 target of 93 percent.
  • Nearly 2 in 3 adults who reported having no insurance or no usual source of healthcare reported they were current on cervical cancer screening, compared with more than 6 in 7 adults with private insurance or a usual source of healthcare.
  • As education and income levels increased, the percentage of persons who received cervical cancer screening also increased (from 71.2 percent for those with less than high school education to 89.5 percent for college graduates; from 75.2 percent for those <139 percent of the federal poverty threshold to 89.7 percent for those >400 percent).
  • Cervical cancer screening use was lowest among Asian women (75.8 percent), especially Chinese (72.0 percent) and other Asian women (71.6 percent). Hispanics (78.6 percent) reported lower screening than did non-Hispanics (83.7 percent).

CDC programs aim to increase cancer screening

The Colorectal Cancer Control Program focuses on increasing screening in targeted populations served by partner health systems. The program funds 24 state health departments, one American Indian tribe, and six universities, one of which is in a U.S. territory.

The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program provides access to breast and cervical cancer screening services to underserved women in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, five U.S. territories, and 11 tribes.

The Screen for Life: National Colorectal Cancer Action campaign informs men and women ages 50 years and older about the importance of having regular colorectal cancer screening tests.

The Inside Knowledge: Get the Facts About Gynecologic Cancer campaign raises awareness about gynecologic cancers, including how important it is for women ages 21-65 to get screened for cervical cancer.

CDC offers two free continuing medical education programs for clinicians. Screening for Colorectal Cancer:  Optimizing Quality provides guidance for clinicians on the best ways to encourage their patients to get colorectal cancer screening. The Gynecologic Cancer Curriculum informs primary health care providers about gynecologic cancers, including cervical cancer.

The full report, “Cancer Screening Test Use — United States, 2015,” can be found at www.cdc.gov/mmwr.  For more information about CDC’s efforts in cancer prevention and control, visit www.cdc.gov/cancer.

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

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