Citywide Program Increases Rates, Eliminates Racial Disparities in Colorectal Cancer Screening

Overall screening colonoscopy rate in New York City got a boost from a concerted effort to increase colorectal cancer screening rates.
Overall screening colonoscopy rate in New York City got a boost from a concerted effort to increase colorectal cancer screening rates.

Overall screening colonoscopy rate in New York City got a boost from a concerted effort to increase colorectal cancer screening rates among average-risk men and women. In addition, the program eliminated racial and ethnic disparities in screening. A report on the program was published in Cancer.1

An advisory committee organized the C5 Coalition (NYC Citywide Colon Cancer Control Coalition), a citywide coalition involving physicians, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, health care plans, unions, medical societies, and advocacy and survivor groups in a public education and outreach program initiated by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The program was developed in response to a national campaign to achieve colorectal cancer screening rates of 80% by 2018.

C5 Coalition used public education, outreach to health care providers, culturally and linguistically tailored campaigns, and other programs to increase awareness and overcome barriers to effective colorectal cancer screening.

As a result of the program, overall screening colonoscopy rate in New York City increased from 42% in 2003 to 62% in 2007; this rate was not reached nationally until 2012. The screening rate for New York City in 2014 was nearly 70%.

Colonoscopy is one of the most effective methods for reducing colorectal cancer incidence and mortality. Although rates are increasing, significant differences in screening rates exist from state to state and within the states. The New York City program provides a framework of how communities can achieve the national campaign's 80% goal.

REFERENCE

1. City-wide effort boosts NYC's colorectal cancer screening rates and eliminates racial disparities in screening [news release]. Eurekalert! web site. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-11/w-ceb111915.php. Published November 23, 2015. Accessed November 23, 2015.

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