Approximately 277,000 colorectal cancer (CRC) cases and 203,000 CRC deaths can be averted if the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable’s goal of increasing CRC screening and prevalence to 80% by 2018 is reached, according to a recent study.1

The number of people who need to be screened (NNS) to reach this goal was unknown and therefore the subject of this study.

The estimated NNS was determined by subtracting adults aged 50 to 75 years who would need to be screened to achieve an 80% CRC screening prevalence from the number who are guideline-compliant from population estimates in the same age group.

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The 2013 National Health Interview Survey and the 2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System were used to estimate CRC screening prevalence and data from the US Census Bureau were used to estimate population projections.

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Results showed that 24.4 million additional people in the United States would need to be screened in order to achieve the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable goal of increasing CRC screening prevalence to 80%. 

Improving facilitators of CRC screening, including physician recommendation and patient awareness would be critical to reach this goal.


  1. Fedewa SA, Ma J, Sauer AG, et al; How many individuals will need to be screened to increase colorectal cancer screening prevalence to 80% by 2018? [published online ahead of print August 26, 2015]. Cancer. doi: 10.1002/cncr.29659.