Healthy Communities

Colorectal Cancer

Arkansas Colorectal Cancer Activities

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), along with Governor Asa Hutchinson, committed to increasing colorectal cancer screening rates across the state by making the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable’s 80% by 2018 pledge. ADH is working towards this goal by collaborating with organizations, such as Arkansas Cancer Coalition and the American Cancer Society, to advance the 2015-2020 Arkansas Cancer Plan. Additionally, ADH is one of 30 CDC Colorectal Cancer Control Program grantees that are working to increase colorectal cancer screening through health systems change.

The ADH Arkansas Partnerships for Colorectal Cancer Screening project works with healthcare systems to increase colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates at the clinic level. ADH helps these partners implement health systems changes proven to increase CRC screening rates for patients at average risk.

The CDC’s Guide to Community Preventive Services The Community Guide has determined the following evidence-based interventions, or proven practices, work in increasing colorectal cancer screening rates:

  1. Provider assessment and feedback - Reviewing CRC screening policies and processes and giving feedback on what providers can do to improve their CRC screen rates.
  2. Provider reminders - Reminders that inform providers when patients are due or overdue for screening.
  3. Patient reminders - Reminders that inform patients when they are due or overdue for a screening. This can be in a letter, email, text, postcard or phone message.
  4. Reducing structural barriers for patients - Providers reduce structural barriers, non-economic burdens or obstacles that make it difficutl for people to access cancer screening, by modifying clinic hours, providing transportation or translation services, and the elimination of simplification of administrative procedures.

To learn more about this program, partner organizations and the latest in CRC click here.

 

Colorectal Cancer Information

 

     Colorectal Cancer Informational graphic

 

Colorectal cancers can be broken into two sections, the colon and the rectum. These cancers can form in the inner lining of the colon or rectum and usually begin as noncancerous polyps which are unusual, small growths of tissue in the lining. Colorectal cancer can be a slow growing cancer that does not always show symptoms in the beginning, which is why screening is so important.  If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor about getting screened.

The two main risk factors for colorectal cancer are age and family history. However, it is important to note that there are other factors that can increase your risk for colorectal cancer. Read more about CRC risk factors here. To reduce your risk of colorectal cancer it is important to be physically active, reduce or quit your alcohol and tobacco use, and reduce your red meat consumption.

 

Colorectal Cancer Screening Options  

Screening can detect colorectal cancer early when it is more likely to be curable. The United States Preventive Task Force (USPTF) recommends those aged 50-75 years old be screened. The American Cancer Society (ACS) and the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) also come out with screening recommendations every year. The table below has the type of test and what the recommendations are for that test.  There are many affordable screening options that are available to you, including take home tests.  Talk to your doctor about which test is the best option for you and remember that the best test is the one that gets done!

CRC Screening Options Table

CRC Screening Options Table

Test

Definition

USPSF

ACG

ACS

FOBT KIT

The test stands for fecal occult blood test. This is a take home test that uses guaiac (a substance from a plant that coats the test cards) to detect blood in the stool.

Annually

Annually

Annually

FIT KIT

This stands for fecal immunochemical test. This take home stool test uses antibodies to check for blood in the stool.

Annually

Annually

Annually

FIT-DNA or sDNA (Stool DNA)

This take home stool test uses a whole stool sample to check for DNA changes in the stool.

Annually

Not recommended

Every 3 years

CT colonoscopy (virtual colonoscopy)

This test uses x-rays to check images for the entire colon for polyps.  It should be done every 5 years.

Every 5 years

Not recommended

Every 5 years

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

This test uses a short, flexible, lighted tube to check for polyps and cancer in the recturm and lower third of the colon.  Polyps and cancers found can be removed during the procedure.

Every 5 years with a FOBT done every 3 years

Every 5 years

Every 5 years

Colonoscopy

This test uses a long, flexible, lighted tube to check for polyps and cancer in the rectum and the entire colon.  Polyps and cancers found can be removed during the procedure.

Every 10 years

Every 10 years

Every 10 years

Public Health Accrediation Board
Arkansas Department of Health
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