CRC News: March 25, 2020
Dear NCCRT Members and 80% Partners,
We are thinking of you and hope that you stay healthy and safe during these challenging and unprecedented times as our nation responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are only beginning to understand the impact that this virus will have on our communities and to our work to save lives from colorectal cancer. But just as every community and every sector is learning, we expect the impacts will be many.
First, we want to share our gratitude with the caretakers, healthcare workers, and front-line responders who are supporting people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in our communities. Thank you to our public health heroes who are safeguarding the public through creative thinking and problem-solving. And thank you to each one of you practicing social distancing to “flatten the curve” to keep others in your community safe.
We also want to share our compassion for those in our community that have been personally impacted by cancer and may be at higher risk of serious illness from an infection. We are keeping cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers in our thoughts as you strive to keep you and your loved ones safe.
And lastly, we want to acknowledge that while we know you are as committed as ever to working to increase colorectal cancer screening in the long term, we understand that this may be a lower priority right now than responding to our current health crisis. In fact, several organizations and agencies now recommend postponing nonessential medical visits and procedures, including cancer screening. Dr. Richard Wender, NCCRT Chair and Chief Cancer Control Officer for the American Cancer Society, stated “the American Cancer Society recommends that no one should go to a health care facility for routine cancer screening at this time.” This means that individuals due for colorectal cancer screening should postpone their appointment for the near future. “Remember, these screening tests save lives. When restrictions lift, it’s important to reschedule any screening test that you’re due to receive,” said Dr. Wender. “Getting back on track with cancer screening should be a high priority.”
More information can be found on the ACS webpage: Coronavirus, COVID-19, and Cancer, which includes Questions to Ask Your Healthcare Team. NCCRT’s co-founding member, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also provides numerous resources for individuals and healthcare professionals on their website. NCCRT member gastroenterological professional societies have issued a Joint GI society message: COVID-19 clinical insights for our community of gastroenterologists and gastroenterology care providers. Several other NCCRT member organizations have also issued relevant statements and guidance.
The NCCRT will continue advancing our mission to raise colorectal cancer screening rates in the United States during this unprecedented time. We will continue to share with you newly developed resources, research articles, and educational opportunities, as you will find in the newsletter below. We understand you may not be able to take the time to focus on this work now, but we will be here when you are able to return to work as usual, and please don’t hesitate to call upon us in the interim. We appreciate all that you are doing to support your communities. Stay safe and well.
The NCCRT Team
Save the Date: Webinar on Recent Report that Finds Colorectal Cancer Burden Shifting to Younger Individuals
Webinar: Colorectal Cancer Burden Shifting to Younger Individuals: A close look at what the most recent data tells us about colorectal cancer incidence, mortality, and screening rates
Date: Monday, May 4, 2020
Time: 3:00 to 4:00 PM ET Save the date for our next webinar, during which we’ll take a close look at the findings from Colorectal Cancer Statistics 2020, a recent American Cancer Society publication released on March 5th. According to the report, the burden of colorectal cancer is swiftly shifting to younger individuals as incidence increases in young adults and declines in older age groups. Learn about these findings and more in this webinar featuring report lead author Rebecca Siegel, MPH and Richard Wender, MD, NCCRT Chair and Chief Cancer Control Officer for the American Cancer Society.
New CEU Course on Colorectal Cancer Screening for Medical Assistants
The NCCRT partnered with the American Association of Medical Assistants to develop a new CEU course on improving colorectal cancer screening rates for medical assistants: Medical Assistants’ Roles in Improving Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates: Getting to 80%. The course is authored and narrated by Durado Brooks, MD, MPH, Vice President, Cancer Control Interventions at the American Cancer Society and NCCRT Steering Committee member. It is free to AAMA members for a limited time and $5.00 for nonmembers.
NYC Recommendations to Reduce Morbidity and Mortality from Colorectal Cancer
The New York City Health Department released updated colorectal cancer screening recommendations that ask healthcare providers to consider screening patients at average risk beginning at age 45, instead of age 50. The recommendations also expand recommended screening options to include both colonoscopy and three different types of stool-based tests for patients at average risk. A resource for healthcare providers that has more information about the recommendation update can be found here: 2020 Update: NYC Recommendations to Reduce Morbidity and Mortality from Colorectal Cancer. Acknowledging that our shared public health priority is the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the NYC Health Department plans to release additional information to support the recommendations update in the coming months.
Additional Educational Opportunities
- The Health Resources and Services Administration is hosting a webinar on Thursday, March 26 from 2:00-3:00 pm ET: Reaching 80%: A Health Center Discussion on Colorectal Cancer Screening.
- The American Indian Cancer Foundation is hosting a webinar on Colorectal Cancer Screening Initiatives Across Indian Country on March 31, 2020 at 2:00 pm ET.
- The Prevent Cancer Foundation has announced that they will not be hosting the Prevent Cancer Dialogue as an in-person event on April 15-17, 2020 in Arlington, VA. Instead, the Prevent Cancer Foundation will keep the Dialogue going by creating virtual opportunities this summer. The online opportunities will be announced in April.
Many thanks for the great work you do.
The NCCRT Team