In Vermont, colorectal cancer screening rates have remained steady since 2008, with no significant, measurable change in the percentage of Vermont adults ages 50-75 that have received screening. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed and the third leading cause of cancer death in men and women in Vermont.
In 2016 Vermont's colorectal cancer screening rate was 72%, higher than the national rate of 67%. However, there are differences in rate based on race, age and location. To learn more, visit the Cancer Surveillance and Reporting webpage and check the Community Data and Cancer Data Pages.
The good news is that regular colorectal cancer screening can, in many cases, prevent colorectal cancer altogether by finding and removing polyps before they develop into cancer. Screening also provides an opportunity to find and treat cancers early, improving the chance for better outcomes.
Is it time for you to start thinking about colorectal cancer screening? The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for colorectal cancer in adults beginning at age 45 and continuing until age 75. Vermonters should talk to their provider about testing options, and which may be best for them.
Not sure how to start a conversation about colorectal cancer screening, or just want to learn more? Here are some helpful resources:
- This National Cancer Institute webpage outlines both risk and protective factors for colorectal cancer.
- The American Cancer Society offers this detailed look at colorectal cancer screening test options.
- Talking about colorectal cancer screening can feel awkward. These fun, educational videos make the topic much more comfortable – and even explain how to use a FIT kit / stool test! Courtesy of Colorectal Cancer Prevention Network at the University of South Carolina
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have created two continuing education courses on colorectal cancer screening with the goal of increasing screening and improving screening quality. Both courses offer CME/CNE credits and can be accessed on the CDC Colorectal Cancer Continuing Education page.
The Colorectal Cancer Screening (CRC) program is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Colorectal Cancer Control Program. The goal of the program is to increase the rate of colorectal cancer screening in Vermont. To achieve this, the program is partnering with health systems and primary care clinics to implement evidence-based interventions (EBIs) that support increased screening rates. The four EBIs of focus are:
- Provider Reminders
- Patient Reminders
- Provider assessment and feedback
- Reducing (non-financial) structural barriers
The CRC program and clinic staff together determine which EBIs will be most beneficial for their clinics, and the program supports implementation with funding and technical support.
This program aims to make a measurable impact in Vermont’s colorectal cancer screening rates. If you’re interested in partnering with us to make change, call the Vermont Department of Health at 802-865-7747.