Colorectal Cancer Screening

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In 2015, 62.9% of adults aged 50-75 had received colorectal cancer screening based on the most recent guidelines.

Summary graph for Colorectal Cancer Screening, Click to see detailed view of graph

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Introduction

Three screening tests are used to detect colorectal cancer, including:

  • Fecal occult blood test (FOBT) – When conducted annually using home-based test kits for people aged 50 to 75 years, the FOBT can increase the rate of survival for colorectal cancer.
  • Sigmoidoscopy—Regular sigmoidoscopy can increase one’s chances of surviving colorectal cancer. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends sigmoidoscopy for adults aged 50 to 75 years once every 5 years, when conducted along with high-sensitivity FOBT once every 3 years.
  • Colonoscopy—Used not only as a screening test, colonoscopies are also used as a diagnostic procedure to follow up after positive FOBT and sigmoidoscopy screening tests. USPSTF suggests a screening colonoscopy for adults aged 50 to 75 years once every 10 years.

Sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy are collectively referred to as colorectal endoscopy in this report.

Measure

FOBT: The percentage of adults aged 50 to 75 years who reported that they had a fecal occult blood test (FOBT) within the past year, by racial/ethnic group. For the 2000 National Health Interview Survey, respondents were asked about both home- and office-based FOBTs; starting in 2003, respondents were asked only about home-based FOBTs.

Colorectal endoscopy: The percentage of adults aged 50 to 75 years who reported that they have had an endoscopy (sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy).

Colorectal cancer tests: The percentage of adults aged 50 to 75 years who have had a colorectal cancer test (i.e., a home-based FOBT in the past year, or a colorectal endoscopy at any time).

Healthy People 2020 Target

  • Increase to 70.5 percent the proportion of adults aged 50 to 75 years who have received a colorectal screening test based on the most recent guidelines. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force suggests conducting a high-sensitivity FOBT at home every year; a sigmoidoscopy every 5 years, along with a high-sensitivity FOBT every 3 years; or a colonoscopy every 10 years.

Healthy People 2020 is a set of goals set forth by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Data Source

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey, 1987–2015.

Trends and Most Recent EstimatesHelp with navigating the graphs and data tables

Guideline Screening

By Sex
Colorectal test use rates¹ for adults aged 50-75 years by sex, 2000-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Colorectal test use rates¹ for adults aged 50-75 years by sex, 2000-2015 Both SexesClick to see the detailed trend graph for Both Sexes 62.9 (61.6 - 64.2)
MaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Male 62.4 (60.6 - 64.2)
FemaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Female 63.4 (61.8 - 65.0)
By Race/Ethnicity
Colorectal test use rates¹ for adults aged 50-75 years by race/ethnicity, 2000-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Colorectal test use rates¹ for adults aged 50-75 years by race/ethnicity, 2000-2015 All RacesClick to see the detailed trend graph for All Races 62.9 (61.6 - 64.2)
Non-Hispanic WhiteClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic White 65.9 (64.3 - 67.4)
Non-Hispanic BlackClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic Black 62.2 (59.2 - 65.2)
HispanicClick to see the detailed trend graph for Hispanic 49.1 (45.9 - 52.3)
By Poverty Income Level
Colorectal test use rates¹ for adults aged 50-75 years by poverty income level, 2000-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Colorectal test use rates¹ for adults aged 50-75 years by poverty income level, 2000-2015 <200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for <200% of federal poverty level 50.0 (47.8 - 52.1)
>=200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for >=200% of federal poverty level 67.4 (65.8 - 68.9)
By Education Level
Colorectal test use rates¹ for adults aged 50-75 years by highest level of education obtained, 2000-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Colorectal test use rates¹ for adults aged 50-75 years by highest level of education obtained, 2000-2015 Less than High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for Less than High School 46.4 (43.3 - 49.6)
High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for High School 58.4 (56.1 - 60.7)
Greater than High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for Greater than High School 67.9 (66.5 - 69.3)

Home FOBT

By Sex
Percent of adults aged 50-75 years who had a home Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) within the past year by sex, 1987-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percent of adults aged 50-75 years who had a home Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) within the past year by sex, 1987-2015 Both SexesClick to see the detailed trend graph for Both Sexes 7.1 (6.5 - 7.7)
MaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Male 7.6 (6.6 - 8.5)
FemaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Female 6.7 (5.9 - 7.5)
By Race/Ethnicity
Percent of adults aged 50-75 years who had a home Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) within the past year by race/ethnicity, 1987-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percent of adults aged 50-75 years who had a home Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) within the past year by race/ethnicity, 1987-2015 All RacesClick to see the detailed trend graph for All Races 7.1 (6.5 - 7.7)
Non-Hispanic WhiteClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic White 6.8 (6.1 - 7.5)
Non-Hispanic BlackClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic Black 7.9 (6.2 - 9.5)
HispanicClick to see the detailed trend graph for Hispanic 7.2 (5.5 - 8.9)
By Poverty Income Level
Percent of adults aged 50-75 years who had a home Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) within the past year by poverty income level, 1998-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percent of adults aged 50-75 years who had a home Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) within the past year by poverty income level, 1998-2015 <200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for <200% of federal poverty level 6.9 (5.9 - 8.0)
>=200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for >=200% of federal poverty level 7.2 (6.4 - 7.9)
By Education Level
Percent of adults aged 50-75 years who had a home Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) within the past year by highest level of education obtained, 1987-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percent of adults aged 50-75 years who had a home Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) within the past year by highest level of education obtained, 1987-2015 Less than High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for Less than High School 6.4 (4.8 - 8.0)
High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for High School 7.0 (5.8 - 8.2)
Greater than High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for Greater than High School 7.3 (6.6 - 8.1)

Sigmoidoscopy or Colonoscopy

By Sex
Percent of adults aged 50-75 years who had a sigmoidoscopy in the past 5 years or had a colonoscopy in the past 10 years. by sex, 2000-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percent of adults aged 50-75 years who had a sigmoidoscopy in the past 5 years or had a colonoscopy in the past 10 years. by sex, 2000-2015 Both SexesClick to see the detailed trend graph for Both Sexes 60.0 (58.7 - 61.3)
MaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Male 59.6 (57.8 - 61.3)
FemaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Female 60.5 (58.9 - 62.1)
By Race/Ethnicity
Percent of adults aged 50-75 years who had a sigmoidoscopy in the past 5 years or had a colonoscopy in the past 10 years. by race/ethnicity, 2000-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percent of adults aged 50-75 years who had a sigmoidoscopy in the past 5 years or had a colonoscopy in the past 10 years. by race/ethnicity, 2000-2015 All RacesClick to see the detailed trend graph for All Races 60.0 (58.7 - 61.3)
Non-Hispanic WhiteClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic White 63.3 (61.8 - 64.9)
Non-Hispanic BlackClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic Black 59.3 (56.2 - 62.4)
HispanicClick to see the detailed trend graph for Hispanic 45.9 (42.7 - 49.2)
By Poverty Income Level
Percent of adults aged 50-75 years who had a sigmoidoscopy in the past 5 years or had a colonoscopy in the past 10 years. by poverty income level, 2000-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percent of adults aged 50-75 years who had a sigmoidoscopy in the past 5 years or had a colonoscopy in the past 10 years. by poverty income level, 2000-2015 <200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for <200% of federal poverty level 46.8 (44.7 - 48.9)
>=200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for >=200% of federal poverty level 64.6 (63.0 - 66.1)
By Education Level
Percent of adults aged 50-75 years who had a sigmoidoscopy in the past 5 years or had a colonoscopy in the past 10 years. by highest level of education obtained, 2000-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percent of adults aged 50-75 years who had a sigmoidoscopy in the past 5 years or had a colonoscopy in the past 10 years. by highest level of education obtained, 2000-2015 Less than High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for Less than High School 43.8 (40.6 - 47.0)
High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for High School 55.6 (53.3 - 57.8)
Greater than High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for Greater than High School 65.0 (63.5 - 66.4)

Additional Information on Colorectal Cancer Screening

For the public

For health professionals

Scientific reports

Statistics

Year Range

2000-2015

Recent Summary Trend Year Range

2010-2015

Summary Tables

Breast and Cervical Cancers

Recent Summary Trend

Non-Significant Change

Desired Direction

Rising