The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) has a new goal: an 80% Colon Cancer screening rate by 2018.
Dozens of organizations signed a pledge to get 80% screened by 2018. This includes the underinsured, underserved and uninsured populations around the country, as well as states that don’t have screening programs. Currently, only 25 states and four tribes across the country have funding for screening programs from the Center of Disease Control (CDC). With this new pledge, any state can now apply for funding.
Being screened, as defined by the pledge, allows for all four types of colorectal screening: Colonoscopies, Fecal Immune Testing (FIT), the Fecal Occult Blood Testing and sigmoidoscopies. It is recommended to repeat colonoscopies every 10 years, whereas the other methods are usually repeated every 5 years. As the NCCRT says, “The best test is the one that gets done.”
As far as fighting Colorectal Cancer goes, this is a huge step in the right direction. Organizations in the roundtable, such as the CDC, NIH and NCCR are working collaboratively towards this goal, rather than working as independent organizations.
So what role do the Get Your Rear in Gear Races play in all of this? Well, money raised in each city go back to the race city that they came from. This means that states such as South Carolina and Texas can use the money raised from their Get Your Rear in Gear races to start building a screening program and apply for CDC grants.
The Colon Cancer Coalition is looking forward to working with different states to help structure screening plans. The hope is that this will not only help reach the goal of 80% screened by 2018, but it will go a step further and lead to statewide partnerships and sponsorships.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in the U.S. Luckily screening can prevent it, so do your part and encourage all family and friends 50+ to get screened! It saves lives.