Blog Post

CRC News: August 7, 2023

CRC News: August 7, 2023

Dear NCCRT Members & 80% Partners:

We are pleased to share with you a couple updates to inform your colorectal cancer screening work.

Response to New American College of Physicians CRC Screening Guidance

Last week, the American College of Physicians (ACP) issued updated guidance for colorectal cancer screening for asymptomatic, average-risk adults that suggests starting screening at age 50 with a choice of limited CRC screening tests. This guidance contrasts with the now near unanimous support for initiating CRC screening in average-risk adults at age 45 with a range of CRC screening test options, as recommended by the American Cancer Society in 2018 and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force in 2021.

When the ACS NCCRT’s membership faced a discrepancy in the recommended age at which to start CRC screening in the major guidelines in 2018 (at the time that the ACS first proposed screening at age 45 the USPSTF recommendation was 50), the NCCRT convened a strategic meeting to consider how we promote CRC screening when recommendations differ. The group developed a guideline statement that emphasizes inclusivity (“The NCCRT supports member organizations in advancing their life saving missions around colorectal cancer screening, no matter which colorectal cancer screening recommendations they choose to follow…” – see link to Draft Guideline Position Statement on this webpage), which we believe served our members well as they navigated the shift toward screening in a landscape of mixed coverage. However, screening at age 45 is now nearly universally covered by public and private insurers in the US. At the same time, the evidence continues to indicate incidence trends are rapidly shifting the patient population younger; 20% (1 in 5) of CRCs in 2019 were in people 54 years or younger, up from 11% (1 in 10) in 1995.

Numerous ACS NCCRT members have issued statements opposing ACPs new guidance, including the Prevent Cancer Foundation, the American College of Gastroenterology and the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the American Gastroenterological Association, and a group of national CRC advocacy organizations. Fight CRC is also offering an opportunity to sign on to a letter to the President of ACP, which will close for signatures EOD Friday, August 11th.

The ACS NCCRT continues to support the impressive progress our members have made in recent years to promote CRC screening for average risk patients start promptly at 45. We feel strongly that this will translate into an impactful reduction in the incidence and mortality of colorectal cancer.

Call for Applicants for Catalyst State-by-State Advocacy Program

ACS NCCRT member Fight Colorectal Cancer is currently accepting applications for the 2024-2025 Catalyst State-by-State Advocacy Program. The Catalyst program provides financial and technical support to coalitions that are working to advance both big P and small p policy change at the state level. The program has supported eight states (NE, TX, RI, NY, NJ, AR, CA, IN) in passing legislation ensuring access to colorectal cancer screening at age 45 and removing out of pocket costs for colonoscopy following a positive non-invasive test. The Catalyst Program has also supported coalitions in their efforts to secure colorectal cancer screening as a quality measure for Medicaid and to allow for pharmacists to prescribe non-invasive screening tests. Fight CRC is excited to welcome a new round of Catalyst grantees for 2024-2025 and will be accepting applications now through September 1, 2023. Please find additional information about the Catalyst program, grant benefits and requirements as well as the application HERE. If you have any questions or would like to discuss this opportunity further, please reach out to Fight CRC’s Director of Advocacy, Molly McDonnell, at [email protected].

Exact Sciences Announces Request for Proposal to FOCUS Program

Exact Sciences, an ACS NCCRT corporate associate member, released a Request for Proposal to the Fall 2023 Funding Opportunities for CRC Screening Uptake Strategies- “FOCUS” Program. The linked Request for Proposal outlines all the details necessary to determine eligibility and criteria for applying. Currently funded FOCUS grantees are not eligible to apply but are encouraged to share this opportunity with others who may be interested. An informational webinar to learn more about the application process will be held on August 9th at 1:00 PM ET. Applications for RFP FOCUS2-23 will be accepted from July 12, 2023 – September 7, 2023, at 12:59 PM ET. Should you have any additional questions you may email Meg Fischer [email protected].

ICYMI: 10 Exemplary Primary Care Practice Site Case Studies

The influence of a clinician can be the driving force in getting screened for colorectal cancer. Our CRC screening toolkit for primary care, Steps for Increasing Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates: A Manual for Primary Care Practices, provides resources and tactics to increase CRC screening rates. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the 10 newly added case studies that profile lessons learned and best practices from seven community health centers and three private primary care practices.

Many thanks for the great work you do!

The NCCRT Team


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