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Share Your Colorectal Cancer Programs, Resources, and Datasets for Colon Cancer Awareness Month

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In recognition of Colon Cancer Awareness Month, the R2R team and Implementation Science Team at the National Cancer Institute would like to hear about the programs and datasets that are being used to help inform researcher and practitioner understandings of colorectal cancer. We hope this discussion will be a resource for researchers and practitioners alike. 

So, please tell us a little about a data source or program you work on that’s related to colon cancer, and how practitioners and researchers in the R2R community may be able to use it to inform their work. Answers from all are encouraged!


Ok, ok, I'll write the first

I work on managing and increasing engagement on Research to Reality, an online community of practice for cancer control researchers and practitioners. R2R is definitely relevant for both cancer control researchers and practitioners because our cyber-seminars, featured partner Q&As, and discussions provide information about actually implementing programs in communities! So many of us do some research and some practice that I think we can all find useful information and interesting colleagues on R2R!

We have several relevant resources to those interested in CRC, but I would especially encourage members to sign up for our Lynch syndrome cyber-seminar on March 21, 2017, and to check out a recent interview we held with Gloria Coronado about her program “El Projecto de Salud Colorectal, The Colorectal Health Project”. We also held a recent interview with Beverly Green regarding her program “Smart Options for Screening”, designed to encourage adherence to CRC screening recommendations.

Later this month we will have a discussion post from Mindy Clyne (I’m really looking forward to that one!) and I will be adding a featured partner question and answer session from an interview with researchers in Australia looking into clinician behavior and colorectal cancer as well!


NCI’s Health Information

NCI’s Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), is a cross-sectional, nationally representative survey of noninstitutionalized U.S. adults designed to monitor changes in the rapidly evolving health communication environment. HINTS measures how people access and use health information; how people use information technology to manage health and health information; and the degree to which people engage in a variety of health behaviors, such as those related to nutrition, physical activity, and cancer screening. HINTS covers a wide variety of topics, including patient-provider communication, Health information Technology, tobacco use, and cancer risk perceptions.


Eight iterations of HINTS have been conducted to date: HINTS 1 (2003), HINTS 2 (2005), HINTS 3 (2007), HINTS 4 Cycle 1 (2011), HINTS 4 Cycle 2 (2012), HINTS 4 Cycle 3 (2013), HINTS 4 Cycle 4 (2014) and HINTS FDA (2015). All HINTS data, as well as full survey instruments (in both English and Spanish), methodology reports and other supporting materials are publicly available and can be accessed through the HINTS website.


Multiple items related to Colorectal cancer have been fielded in HINTS throughout the years, including:

  • Has a doctor ever told you there are different tests, such as colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or blood stool tests to detect colorectal cancer?
  • At what age are people supposed to start having sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy exams?
  • When did you have your most recent colonoscopy to check for colon cancer
  • Which test (or tests) do you believe is more effective in finding colon cancer?


A number of briefs summarizing analyses of HINTS data that have implications for colorectal cancer are also available on the website. 

I oversee the management of

I oversee the management of the various evidence-based resources on the Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T. web portal,  The web portal focuses on 12 cancer topics, which includes colorectal cancer screening.  Data and evidence-based information can be accessed by either clicking on a resource or clicking on a topic area. This Colon Cancer Awareness Month, I encourage cancer control planners and researchers to visit the topic area on the P.L.A.N.E.T.  website which pulls related evidence from each of the resources on the portal.  

Also notable about the Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T.  is the management of the resources by a consortium of partner agencies (NCI, CDC, AHRQ, ICCP). Therefore, accessing the colorectal cancer topic enables users to obtain national and local colorectal cancer statistics, discussions and webinars on colorectal cancer and colorectal cancer screening policy recommendations and evidence-based approaches.  There are also several colorectal cancer interventions, an evaluation framework that can be applied to a colorectal cancer control program and state and international cancer control plans.

I recommend frequent visits to the P.L.A.N.E.T.  web portal as new and updated information gets added to the resources, allowing for the planning, implementation and evaluation of evidence-based cancer control programs.  During this Colon Cancer Awareness Month, let’s share our knowledge and identify the evidence-based approaches to help increase colorectal cancer screening!


Collaborating with several

Collaborating with several other government agencies and universities, the Statistical Research and Application Branch of the Surveillance Research Program at NCI developed model-based small area estimates for three colorectal cancer (CRC) screening measures -including FOBT, endoscopy and ever had CRC test- along with other cancer-related measures for all the counties, health service areas and states within the United states. The estimates and maps can be accessed from NCI’s small area estimation website  or the state cancer profiles website The methods and results of those estimates should be useful to both researchers and practitioners who are interested in data for small geographic areas.

It is Colorectal Cancer

It is Colorectal Cancer Screening Awareness Month.  I oversee the Research-tested Intervention Programs (RTIPs) website (part of the Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T. web portal). As a resource for your program planning needs, the website features programs for various topic areas, including Colorectal Cancer Screening.”  The website also provides program planners and public health practitioners a link to summary statements, ratings and research-tested program materials from cancer prevention and control studies specific to the topic area.

Visit the website and feel free to share any thoughts or experiences!

CDC's Division of Cancer

CDC's Division of Cancer Prevention and Control collaborates with other CDC Divisions, sister agencies, and external partners to provide data resources that relate to all cancers, including colorectal cancer.  The official government statistics on cancer can be found at the United States Cancer Statistics website,  Data are also available through the National Program of Cancer Registries Public Use Data Set (, CDC WONDER (, CDC's Research Data Center ( - at no charge to the researcher - and through the CDC/NCI collaborative website State Cancer Profiles (  These data inform CDC's programs such as the Colorectal Cancer Control Program (CRCCP),, and Screen for Life: National Colorectal Action campaign,

I would like to talk about a

I would like to talk about a new initiative housed in the Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities at NCI.

Increasing colorectal screening rates in the U.S. is a national priority and part of the 10 recommendations by the Blue Ribbon Panel for the Cancer Moonshot, announced in October 2016 and endorsed by the National Cancer Advisory Board. In response to these recommendations, the NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD), led by Dr. Sanya Springfield, launched the national Screen to Save (S2S): NCI Colorectal Cancer Outreach and Screening Initiative. S2S seeks to increase CRC screening rates among men and women age 50 and older from racially and ethnically diverse communities and in rural areas, including: American Indians and Alaskan Natives, Asians, Blacks/African-Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. S2S will be implemented in 2017 by Community Health Educators (CHEs) through culturally-tailored education and outreach activities in communities across the country. CHEs will work with a diverse partner network on national, regional, and community levels to deliver NCI-approved CRC screening information to promote CRC screening and access to care.

I’d like to take this opportunity to promote our upcoming Spanish Facebook Live event on Wednesday, March 29 at 1:30pmEST. I will be speaking about our Screen to Save initiative and interviewing Dr. Elmer Huerta about colorectal cancer. This is the first ever Spanish Facebook Live NCI event, please join us and show your support!

I wrote this post in conjunction with my colleagues Dr. LeeAnn Bailey, Natasha-Ann B. Night and Miya Whitaker in the Integrated Networks Branch ( at the Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities at the National Cancer Institute.

Colorectal cancer is the

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in the United States. The good news is that evidence convincingly shows screening for colorectal cancer works. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine, issued a recommendation on screening for colorectal cancer in 2016. The USPSTF strongly recommends screening adults 50 to 75 for colorectal cancer, as it reduces the risk of dying from the disease. There are multiple screening options for colorectal cancer that reduce the risk of dying from the disease. Ultimately, the best test is the one a person chooses and receives in consultation with his or her clinician. For more information about the USPSTF Colorectal Cancer Screening recommendation, see:

The Community Guide provides

The Community Guide provides evidence-based findings and recommendations from the Community Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force) about community preventive services, programs, and policies to improve health.

Community Guide reviews are designed to answer three questions:

  1. What has worked for others and how well?
  2. What might this intervention approach cost, and what am I likely to achieve through my investment?
  3. What are the evidence gaps?

Learn more about Task Force findings for interventions to increase cancer screening on our website or in the What Works Fact Sheet: Cancer Screening

Our colleagues at the NCI

Our colleagues at the NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities recently hosted a Facebook Live event focusing on colorectal cancer. The panel discussed prevention and screening and shared personal stories. Watch here.

I was intrigued to learn more from the community health educator perspective and the CRCHD's efforts in response to the Blue Ribbon Panel report.