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Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates Still Low: CDC Study Finds

Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates Still Low: CDC Study Finds

WASHINGTON—Colorectal cancer screening rates have risen slightly since 1997 but remain at low levels, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report compared data from the 1999 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)—a random-digit phone survey of residents of the United States and Puerto Rico—with findings from the 1997 BRFSS. Respondents over age 50 were asked about colorectal cancer screening.

In 1999, 44% of the respondents reported receiving either a fecal occult blood test (FOBT) in the year before being surveyed and/or a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy exam within the previous 5 years, compared with 41% in 1997 who reported getting an FOBT and/or sigmoidoscopy or proctoscopy within the same time spans.

The highest FOBT use in the 1999 survey was in the District of Columbia (36.4%) and the lowest was in Puerto Rico (8.2%). For sigmoidoscopy/colon-oscopy, the high was 46.1% in Delaware and the low 20.4% in Puerto Rico.

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