Clinical Use of CT Colonography (CTC) for Colorectal Cancer Screening in Military Training Facilities and Potential Impact on HEDIS® Measures
Conducted in partnership with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
- CTC is actively being used for colon cancer screening across military treatment facilities.
- Inclusion of CTC as a HEDIS®-compliant colon cancer screening test has the potential to significantly increase healthcare system compliance for National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) colon cancer screening measures.
Colonoscopy Perceptions Survey Project
Conducted with Salix Pharmaceuticals
- People are familiar with colonoscopy as a screening test: Most people had gotten a colonoscopy, but 39% of participants who have never had a one indicated it had been recommended they get the test.
- Easiest & hardest part of a colonoscopy: 50% of participants who have had a colonoscopy indicated the easiest part of the colonoscopy experience was the colonoscopy procedure. 73% indicated the hardest part was the bowel prep.
- Top reasons why people haven’t gotten a colonoscopy: Age is the most frequently cited reason for why participants 49 years old or younger have not had a colonoscopy. Fear is the most frequently cited reason for why participants 50 years old or older have not had a colonoscopy.
Closing the Gap in Colon Cancer Screening
Conducted with Quest Diagnostics
- Time constraints, fear and cost concerns are also major impediments to screening: Among patients who said fear prevented them from being screened by any method, 61% cited unpleasant bowel preparation as a deterrent to screening.
- A large number of respondents did not adhere to guidelines calling for periodic testing after an initial screen: Of those between 60 and 70 years old, 33% claimed they had been screened once and 22% said they had been screened twice. The findings suggest that some patients, after being screened once, are lulled into a false sense of security and fail to undergo additional testing.
- Diagnostic advances may improve screening rates: Three out of four (75%) survey respondents said they would be screened more frequently if a blood test for colon cancer screening were available.
- Although colon cancer incidence and mortality rates have been decreasing among individuals age 50 and older, approximately 10% of colon cancer cases are young-onset (i.e., occurring in individuals under age 50) and the incidence of young-onset colon cancer is increasing significantly each year.
- Despite these histological characteristics and a greater likelihood of presenting with metastatic disease, stage-specific survival rates in young-onset patients are generally at least equal to those of their later-onset counterparts.
- Physicians can improve identification and treatment of young-onset colon cancer patients by remaining aware that colon cancer is increasingly occurring in young adults and by using a two-pronged approach that addresses both screening and symptom evaluation.
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