Achieving 80% Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates in Every Community
80% in Every Community is an American Cancer Society National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable campaign in which more than 1,800 organizations are working toward the shared goal of reaching colorectal cancer screening rates of 80% and higher in communities across the nation. Through dedication, determination, and collective action, we are seeing that 80% and higher screening rates are possible as health systems, community health centers, health plans, employers, counties, and many others are achieving their goals.
- 80% in Every Community is an American Cancer Society National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable campaign to substantially reduce colorectal cancer as a major public health problem.
- More than 1,800 organizations are working toward the shared goal of reaching colorectal cancer screening rates of 80% and higher in communities across the nation.
- Through dedication, determination, and collective action, we are seeing that 80% and higher screening rates are possible as health systems, community health centers, health plans, employers, counties, and many others are achieving their goals.
- But not everyone is benefiting equally. There are still too many communities with lower colorectal cancer screening rates – certain racial and ethnic communities, communities with lower levels of income and education, and uninsured persons, among others.
- Everyone deserves to live a life free from colorectal cancer. Increasing colorectal cancer screening is only one element of the work that needs to be done to address colorectal cancer disparities. The 80% in Every Community campaign emphasizes that we cannot be satisfied with just reaching a national or even state-level screening rate of 80%; we need to ensure every community can reach the target of 80% and higher.
- Efforts must address disparities along the entire cancer care continuum, including lifestyle risk factors, timely diagnosis following a positive (abnormal) non-colonoscopy screening test result, and timely treatment. Thus, while the 80% in Every Community campaign focuses on increasing colorectal cancer screening participation, it tackles only one piece of the complex puzzle to eliminate disparities in colorectal cancer
- In 2023, there will be an estimated 153,020 new cases of colorectal cancer diagnosed in the US and 52,550 people will die from the disease.
- Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the US when men and women are combined, yet it can often be detected early or prevented through screening.
- 1 in 23 men and 1 in 26 women will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in their lifetime.
Colorectal cancer screening can save lives, but only if people get tested.
- Screening can prevent colorectal cancer through the detection and removal of precancerous growths (polyps), and it can often detect cancer at an early stage, when treatment is usually more successful.
- Nearly all major guidelines recommend screening for average risk individuals start at age 45 and continue through at least age 75. Previously, major guidelines recommended screening for average risk individuals start at age 50.
- Approximately 50 million people ages 45 and older are not up to date according to current recommendations.
- As of 2021, only 59% of adults aged 45 years and older were up to date with screenings.
- In the U.S., screening is lowest among ages 45-49 (20%) and ages 50-54 (50%); Asian Americans (50%); American Indian or Native Alaskan (52%); Hispanic (52%); individuals with less than a high school education (48%), individuals with a lower income (<100% Federal Poverty Level) (47%); the uninsured (21%); and recent (<10 years) immigrants (29%).
- Even if someone feels just fine, following screening recommendations is important.
- Early stages of colorectal cancer don’t usually cause symptoms, so proactive screening is one of the only ways to detect these types of cancers.
- Most colorectal cancers occur in people with no family history.
- Colorectal cancer risk is higher if someone has a close relative who has had the disease.
There are several tests to screen for colorectal cancer.
- Approved tests include: colonoscopy, stool tests like guaiac fecal occult blood test [FOBT], fecal immunochemical test [FIT], mt-sDNA, CT colonoscopy (sometimes called a virtual colonoscopy), and sigmoidoscopy.
- The best test is the test that gets done.
- Most health insurance plans, including Medicare, cover most of these screening tests. Talk with your clinician about which screening tests might be right for you.
Colorectal cancer is swiftly shifting to more advanced disease and younger individuals.
- The proportion of individuals in the United States diagnosed with advanced-stage colorectal cancer increased from 52% in the mid-2000s to 60% in 2019.
- Early age onset colorectal cancer is on the rise. Diagnoses of people under 55 years of age doubled from 11% (1 in 10) in 1995 to 20% (1 in 5) in 2019.
- Colorectal cancer is estimated to become the leading cause of cancer-related deaths for 20-49-year-olds by 2030.
It’s more important than ever that we ensure everyone make a plan for getting regular, potentially life-saving screening as soon as they become eligible—at 45 for people at average risk or earlier for people at increased or high risk of the disease. People of any age with symptoms should undergo an appropriate diagnostic workup.
- 80% in Every Community builds on the work of the ACS NCCRT’s first campaign to reach 80%: 80% by 2018.
- Our shared efforts are working. Health systems, community health centers, health plans, employers, counties, and others are achieving colorectal cancer screening rates of 80% and higher.
- The collective action and collaborative efforts of the ACS NCCRT’s campaigns to reach 80%, starting with 80% by 2018, have achieved tremendous success. Between 2012 and 2018, 9.3 million additional US adults (50 to 75) have been screened.
- The ACS NCCRT is tracking all major measures to assess our progress in reaching the goal of 80% of age-eligible adults screened for colorectal cancer. Nationally, colorectal cancer screening has increased from 65% in 2012 to 70% in 2020. Screening rates in community health centers climbed from 30% in 2012 to 42% in 2021. Visit the Data & Progress webpage to learn more.
- We’ve learned many lessons since we launched our original goal to reach 80%. The most important is that a commitment to partnership, collective action, and the pooling of resources has the potential to save many lives.
- We share a commitment to eliminating disparities in access to care. ACS NCCRT member organizations are working toward a common goal to empower communities, patients, community health centers, health systems, health plans, and others, to close the screening gap.
- 80% in Every Community aims to unite partners to eliminate barriers to screening, because everyone deserves to live a life free from colorectal cancer.
What is an 80% Community?
- The “community” in 80% in Every Community is intended to be flexible and inclusive.
- Communities can be locations, such as a city, county, or state; a racial and ethnic community, a patient population served by a healthcare system, a workforce; or another variation of “community” specific to your needs and priorities.
- Communities are the collective efforts of those stakeholders working together in new ways to increase colorectal cancer screening.
- Addressing the burden of colorectal cancer is most effective as coordinated and collaborative action from multiple actors within the community.
- Take the pledge. Join the 1,800+ organizations committed to working toward our shared goal to reach an 80% screening rate nationwide by increasing the number of people screened for colorectal cancer in their communities.
- Spread the word. Many patients and clinicians either don’t know or consider all the options for colorectal cancer Your voice can help connect them to a testing option that is right for them. Visit the NCCRT Resource Center to find resources and tools to support your work.
- Join the conversation: Keep us informed of your community’s success and conversations by using #80inEveryCommunity on social media.
- Cancer Facts & Figures. American Cancer Society. 2023. https://www.cancer.org/research/cancer-facts-statistics/all-cancer-facts-figures/2023-cancer-facts-figures.html
- Colorectal Cancer Facts & Figures. American Cancer Society. 2023-2025. https://www.cancer.org/research/cancer-facts-statistics/colorectal-cancer-facts-figures.html
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, [2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2020].
- Siegel, R.L., et al. (2023). Colorectal Cancer Statistics, 2023. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. https://acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.3322/caac.21772
- Rahib, Lola, et. al. (2021) Estimated Projection of US Cancer Incidence and Death to 2040. Jama Network Open. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2778204
Colorectal Cancer is a Major Public Health Problem
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. when men and women are combined, but it doesn’t have to be. Few preventive interventions are as reliably effective in reducing avoidable death as screening for colorectal cancer. Learn more at the Data and Progress page.
Estimated adults diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2023
Estimated deaths from colorectal cancer in 2023
1 in 3
Adults ages 50-75 are not getting screened as recommended
Men and women alive in the US with a history of colorectal cancer
Find additional resources to support your organization in working toward an 80% colorectal cancer screening rate by visiting the our Resource Center.
Honoring organizations that have reached the 80% colorectal cancer screening rate.
The 80% in Every Community Strategic Plan (2020-2024) provides a focused, action-oriented roadmap for stakeholders, collaborators, and cross-sectored partners.
Learn about the measures we are tracking to assess our progress.
Recognizing individuals and organizations who are dedicating their time, talent and expertise to advancing needed initiatives that support the shared goal to reach 80% screening rates nationally.
The 80% by 2018 campaign tapped into individual and organizational values, and it created an opportunity to do something bigger and better through collaborating with various partners–both within and beyond our typical public-health-focused community. We believe the value of these partnerships will prove to have a long-lasting impact as we continue to strive for 80%, but even more, what we’ve built in our local communities and across the country can be leveraged to achieve other health goals.
We all have a role to play in saving lives from colorectal cancer. Learn how you can support 80% in Every Community.
Please Note: While 80% in Every Community is a new campaign, the wide array of resources currently housed in the NCCRT Resource Center are still practical, current, and useful guides for improving colorectal cancer screening rates across many settings and communities. We encourage you to continue using and adapting these resources as we update materials to reflect the new campaign slogan over the coming months.