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Invited Commentary
August 2014

“BeneFITs” to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screening in Priority Populations

Author Affiliations
  • 1Group Health Cooperative, Seattle, Washington
  • 2Group Health Research Institute, Seattle, Washington
  • 3Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research Northwest, Portland, Oregon
JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(8):1242-1243. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.730

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is a leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Many CRC deaths could be averted by screening because screening decreases both CRC incidence and mortality by 30% to 60%.1 Although CRC screening rates have risen in recent years, with 65% of Americans aged 50 to 75 years reporting being up-to-date,2 rates remain suboptimal and are marked by pronounced racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities. Only 53% of Latinos2 and 39% of individuals with incomes below the federal poverty level are current for CRC screening (Figure). Low socioeconomic status is also associated with higher rates of CRC mortality.3 Increasing screening in priority populations could substantially decrease morbidity and mortality from CRC.

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