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2023 Lead Time Messaging Guidebook

2023 Lead Time Messaging Guidebook

It is a priority of the ACS NCCRT to uncover barriers and develop tools to support CRC screening because we know screening and early detection can save lives. This led to our interest in understanding what types of tailored messages could heighten awareness around the importance of on-time and regular screeningThe ACS NCCRT Lead Time Messaging Guidebook: A Tool to Encourage On-Time Colorectal Cancer Screening, is intended to provide you with information and tools to motivate individuals at average and heightened risk for CRC to discuss screening prior to the recommended screening age. Our belief is that this will increase the likelihood that they will prioritize getting screened on-time for CRC.  

A culmination of findings from ACS NCCRT messaging-related research, relevant information from ACS NCCRT signature resources, and driven by concerning data reflecting increases in CRC in younger populations, this guide will support and catalyze current efforts to increase CRC screening rates. Our goal is for everyone to have equitable access to screening and for individuals to feel empowered to prioritize getting screened for CRC as soon as they are eligible. 

Learn more about the guidebook by watching our webinar on the resource!

Background and Goals 

The ACS NCCRT conducted its first market research project in 2014 to better understand the barriers and emotional motivators that influence CRC screening behavior. Followed by additional projects to identify and promote effective communication strategies that educate, empower, and mobilize target audiences with low screening rates. The success of each of these endeavors provided the foundation for the Lead-Time Messaging project. 

  1. Guidebook for Black & African American People (2022) 
  2. The NCCRT Colorectal Cancer Screening Messaging Guidebook: Recommended Messaging to Reach the Unscreened (2019) 
  3. Asian Americans Colorectal Cancer Companion Guide (2017) 
  4. Hispanics/Latinos Colorectal Cancer Companion Guide (2016) 


The ACS NCCRT would like to thank the Lead Time Messaging Advisory Committee members who generously offered their time and expertise to the development of this guidebook’s research and content. We would also like to acknowledge, with deep gratitude, Whitney Jones, MD, who championed the lead time messaging concept, as well as two late colleagues, Thomas Weber, MD FACS and Dennis Ahnen, MD, who were instrumental in promoting the ACS NCCRT’s adoption of this paradigm shift. 

A special thank you to the chairs of the ACS NCCRT Family History & Early-Age Onset Colorectal Cancer Strategic Priority Team, Heather Hampel, MS, CGCC and Paul Schroy, MD, MPH, for providing vision, leadership, and guidance.