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News from the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable

Posted By ACPM Staff, Monday, February 12, 2018
From Dorry Lane, MD, MPH
ACPM representative to the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable

I had the pleasure of representing ACPM at an invigorating annual meeting of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable in Bethesda MD from December 6-8, 2017.  The meeting began with a progress report on their 80% by 2018 campaign that ACPM is a partner in. While numerous organizations and practices have achieved screening of 80% of patients for colorectal cancer, including some community health centers and health plans; and while even greater numbers have achieved a statistically significant increases in screening rates below 80%; as a nation we have not reached that ambitious target yet.  At the meeting there was a groundswell to press on and a strategy is being formulated to develop a new call to action for after 2018.

Also on the conference agenda was drilling down to reveal what the screening data tell us. This included some disturbing statistics. About half of those who have positive stool-based screening tests for colorectal cancer do not go on to complete colonoscopy.  While this applies to the underprivileged it is also found in practices serving insured populations.  Suggested strategies to overcome this included: improvements in electronic medical record systems to alert providers to track follow-up of positive stool tests, as well as increased emphasis on educating patients at the time of distribution of test kits about the necessity of following up a positive test with colonoscopy.

There is also evidence of lower screening rates among 50-64 year olds, despite a rising incidence of colorectal cancer among younger patients, particularly those in the 50-54 age groups. The roundtable’s Task Group on Familial, Hereditary and Early Age Onset Colorectal Cancer has developed a module designed to assist primary care clinician’s in the identification of individuals at increased risk and facilitate the earliest possible stage at diagnosis.

I Co-Chair the roundtable’s Task Group on “Professional Education and Practice,” and the meeting heralded the release of new guidebooks for CRC screening that were developed by that task group, and targeted at Cancer Centers and Hospitals, respectively.  After producing the original guidebook targeted at primary care physicians, our subsequent approach has been to tailor the guidebooks for specific practice settings that now include community health centers, health plans, hospitals and cancer centers.  Also discussed in a workshop at the meeting was a new guide and workbook for State level colorectal cancer coalitions and roundtables   

These NCCRT toolkits are a fantastic resource and can be obtained free of charge on the NCCRT website: http://nccrt.org

Check them out to assure that you are following the latest best practices and reap the benefit of these tool kits for application in your own practice or in the services that you manage or affiliate with.

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