NCCRT Learning Center

The NCCRT Learning Center is a digital learning platform which features courses, tools, and other resources on colorectal cancer screening delivery and research. Current educational offerings include:

  • The Colonoscopy Needs Calculator—This tool estimates the number of colonoscopies your practice can realistically anticipate with a high-quality stool-based colorectal cancer screening program based on various screening rate goals and other data inputs. It also provides an estimation of what the total colonoscopy need would cost a system as well as a comparison between the costs of treating cancer and costs of providing colonoscopies.
  • The Communications Education Portal—This course houses our suite of market research findings on the unscreened for colorectal cancer and messaging recommendations to more effectively develop communication campaigns and resources for unscreened populations. Learners can peruse the market research findings from start to finish or jump in to find just what you need to educate, empower, and mobilize those who are not getting screened for colorectal cancer.

We plan to populate the NCCRT Learning Center with additional tools and learning modules over time. Users can create an account to track your progress, learn when new content is released, and access more courses as they become available.

 

Reigniting Colorectal Cancer Screening as Communities Face and Respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Playbook

This resource provides an action-oriented playbook to be adopted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to align NCCRT members, 80% pledged partners, and colorectal cancer screening advocates across the nation to work together to reignite our screening efforts appropriately, safely, and equally for all communities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged efforts to address inadequate screening and inequities in colorectal cancer outcomes, hindering the progress toward our 80% in Every Community goals. In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading agencies, such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the American Cancer Society, made recommendations to delay all non-urgent procedures. Colonoscopies to detect colorectal cancer have been delayed or cancelled and patient fears about contracting COVID-19 have led to further reductions in screening. This drop has raised concern that COVID-19 related screening delays will lead to missed and advanced stage colorectal cancer diagnoses and to excess deaths from colorectal cancer. Moreover, this burden will likely not be evenly distributed as screening disparities may be exacerbated in communities and populations that are disadvantaged by both old and new challenges in the COVID-19 era.

The colorectal cancer fighting community stands prepared and well-positioned to respond to and overcome the difficult task ahead, and this document offers the latest (as of June 2020) data, research, and clinical guidelines available related to colorectal cancer screening and COVID-19. 

Aligning Statements include: 

  1. Despite the challenges we face during the pandemic, colorectal cancer remains a public health priority, and we must provide the public with safe opportunities to prevent and detect colorectal polyps and cancer.
  2. Colonoscopy remains safe, is a good option for screening, and is quickly reopening around the country, but identifying patients who should receive higher priority for colonoscopic screening is a critical step.
  3. During a time when availability of elective screening colonoscopy may be limited by the COVID-19 pandemic, colorectal cancer screening can be safely offered through at-home stool-based tests.
  4. Gaining momentum and reigniting screening activities and public messaging will be highly dependent upon local regulatory requirements, public health priorities, and policy change.

Throughout the pandemic, individuals have options to screen for colorectal cancer. There are many safe, effective, and evidence-based screening tests available, including colonoscopy and non-colonoscopy options (e.g., stool-based tests, stool-DNA tests, and CT colonography). In addition to the information included in the Playbook specific to stool-based testing and colonoscopy, CT colonography also serves as an important option for patients. Learn more in an editorial published in Abdominal Radiology (July 2020), “CT Colonography’s role in the COVID-19 pandemic: a safe(r), socially distanced total colon examination.” 

We gratefully acknowledge the contributions of the following individuals and organizations. Thank you to our authors Durado Brooks, Rachel Issaka, Steven Itzkowitz, Michael Sapienza, Ma Somsouk, Richard Wender, Caleb Levell, and Emily Bell. We also extend a special note of gratitude to our committed partners, NCCRT Steering Committee members, and subject matter experts that have contributed to both reviewing and advising on this document, but also for their participation in ongoing discussions aimed at uniting and guiding the colorectal cancer community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. And finally, we recognize the efforts of the Colorectal Cancer Alliance to provide support, in-kind staff, and continued commitment in coordinating a national response to improving colorectal cancer screening rates during the COVID-19 era. 

Clinician’s Reference: Stool-Based Tests for Colorectal Cancer Screening

This newly revised resource is designed to introduce (or reintroduce) clinicians to the value of stool-based testing for colorectal cancer. It explains the different types of stool-based tests available—Fecal Immunochemical Tests (FIT), High-Sensitivity Fecal Occult Blood Tests (HS-gFOBT) and FIT-DNA testing—and provides guidance on implementing high quality stool-based screening programs. The resource now includes information on sensitivity and specificity for many of the most commonly used tests.

We would like to thank the following individuals, many from the NCCRT Professional Education and Practice Implementation Task Group, for reviewing past and current versions of this resource and contributing to this work: James Allison, Kim Andrews, Barry Berger, Durado Brooks, Gloria Coronado, Debbie Kirkland, Theodore Levin, Dorothy Lane, Laura Makaroff, Marion Nadel, Kerstin Ohlander, Mike Potter, Robert Smith, and Richard Wender. We’d also like to thank the Comprehensive Cancer Control Program National Partners for providing funding support.

How To Assure Follow Up Colonoscopy For Positive FIT From The Process Side – January 30, 2018

This webinar was a repeat of one of our most highly rated workshops from the NCCRT meeting last month. The purpose of the webinar was to review evidence and processes to help ensure that patients obtain a follow-up colonoscopy after a positive test result.

Speakers:

  • Kevin Selby, MD, Kaiser Permanente Division of Research
  • Amanda Petrik, Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research
  • Frank Colangelo, MD, FACP, Premier Medical Associates
  • Jason A. Dominitz, MD, MHS, FASGE, AGAF Department of Veterans Affairs

Note:  This webinar will not address access issues. For advice on securing access to colonoscopy, check out our webinars on Links of Care from 2017 and 2015. For more general guidance on implementing FIT screening programs, view this webinar or check out our new resource on stool based testing.

Colorectal Cancer Screening: Recommendations for physicians and patients from the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer

The US Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer Screening, comprised of representatives from the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, American College of Gastroenterology and American Gastroenterological Association, develops recommendations for the prevention and early detection of colorectal cancer. Recommendations are based on scientific evidence, practical considerations, and cost.
The latest set of recommendations, summarized in this press release, recommends screening begin at age 50 for average risk individuals, with screening starting at age 45 for African-Americans. The recommendations rank screening tests into three “tiers” according to the strength of the recommendation. The recommendations also provide guidance for screening individuals with a family history of the disease.

The press release links to joint publications of these recommendations in GastroenterologyThe American Journal of Gastroenterology and GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

Evaluation: The US Multi-Society Task Force is made up of representatives from the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the American College of Gastroenterology, and the American Gastroenterological Association. Recommendations for screening are re-evaluated periodically as new evidence emerges and as shifts occur in health care delivery and access.

Permissions: Made publicly available online by the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.

Publication date: June 2017

Post date: September 15, 2017

Contact: Follow instructions in the press release to reach out to media contacts at each of the three societies.

best practices handbook for health plans

“Thank you! This is exactly the type of information health plans need to pass to one another to improve partnership/collaboration, as the consumer will benefit at the end.”

“I really enjoyed that each of the health plans featured in the toolkit highlights a different intervention or opportunity. That gives our partners many approaches to choose from.”

Colorectal Cancer Screening Best Practices Handbook for Health Plans

Health plans have an essential role to play in the effort to screen more Americans for colorectal cancer, particularly given that seven out of 10 people who are unscreened are covered by insurance.

Colorectal Cancer Screening Best Practices Handbook for Health Plans, provides a first-of-its-kind compilation of best practices, case studies, templates and tools, that will kick start or infuse health plans’ efforts to save more lives and prevent more cancers.

To develop the handbook, the NCCRT convened an advisory group of health plan experts and interviewed high-performing health plans to understand what works and what doesn’t when it comes to increasing screening among members. Thank you to the many individuals and organizations who contributed their time and expertise to developing this much requested resource.

In the future, we hope to update this handbook with more case studies from high-performing health plans. If you have a story to share about how your health plan has worked to raise colorectal cancer screening rates, please email nccrt@cancer.org.

NCCRT’s issue brief, The Importance of Waiving Cost-sharing for Follow-up Colonoscopies, provides additional information on the colonoscopy copay issue.

View the March 28, 2017 webinar introducing the Handbook for a guided tour of the best practices, case studies, and templates and tools found within the handbook, and hear from one of the profiled health plans.

80% by 2018 Communications Guidebook: Recommended Messaging to Reach the Unscreened

This Guidebook is based on market research from the American Cancer Society with guidance from the NCCRT Public Awareness Task Group. The Guidebook is designed to help educate, empower and mobilize three key audiences who are not getting screened for colorectal cancer:

  • The newly insured
  • The insured, procrastinator/rationalizer
  • The financially challenged

The goal of the Guidebook is to share what we know about reaching these hard-to-persuade groups using tested messages.

The 2017 Guidebook includes additional templates, tools and customized resources. (Note: Some versions of Internet Explorer create errors in the document. If you experience problems please use an alternate browser, such as Firefox or Google Chrome.)

The Hispanics/Latinos and Colorectal Cancer Companion Guide and Asian Americans and Colorectal Cancer Companion Guide introduce market research about the unscreened from these populations and include tested messages in Spanish and several Asian languages.

Use the following tools to help you promote and evaluate 80% by 2018 communications:

The Guidebook reviews what we know from market research about the unscreened and introduces and explains new tested messages. It also provides tools with the messages incorporated to get you started:

Our hope is that partners can take this research and messages provided in the Guidebook and make the message resonate with the target audiences even more by using their own creativity, innovation and spokespersons.

View the following webinars to learn more about the market research that went into this work, and the tools that are available.

FluFIT Program

FluFIT programs increase colorectal cancer screening rates by providing a take home fecal immunochemical test (FIT) to eligible patients when they receive their annual flu shot. Thus, the annual flu shot campaign create an opportunity to reach people who are also due for colorectal screening.

The FluFIT website offers program planning and implementational materials, including staff training, work flows, log sheets, sample reminder letters, and sample telephone call scripts. The site also provides patient educational materials, such as clinic posters, and FIT instructions (both printed materials and videos) in several languages. These materials can help prepare a healthcare team to develop the simple systems needed to implement a FluFIT program and jump start program development.

FluFIT programs have been implemented successfully in a variety of clinical settings. Many FluFIT campaigns are run by nurses, pharmacists, or medical assistants. They can be implemented and sustained with limited resources, are well accepted by patients, and can lead to higher screening rates.

Evaluation: FluFIT is a research-tested program. Visit the Publications section of the website to find research articles and reviews of the FluFIT approach.

Evaluation Assets: The Program Materials section of the website includes a sample FluFIT log sheet and sample FluFIT results tracking sheet.

Permissions: Made publicly available online by the Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California.

Publication date: 2009; updated in 2017

Post date: September 15, 2017

Contact: Send comments, questions, and suggestions to Michael Potter, MD at potterm@fcm.ucsf.edu.

What Can Primary Care Physicians Do To Advance 80% By 2018?

Learn how primary care physicians can be part of the national effort to make sure 80% of adults ages 50 and older are regularly screened for colorectal cancer by 2018.

Guidance On Implementing FIT-Based Screening Programs

Guidance on Implementing FIT-based Screening Programs – June 29, 2016

This webinar reviewed the rationale for FIT-based testing programs, discussed implementation strategies, and reviewed possible solutions to common barriers to FIT programs.

Speakers:

  • Durado Brooks, MD, MPH, American Cancer Society
  • Gloria Coronado, PhD, Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research