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Cancer Control Programs

Colorectal Cancer Screening

Colorectal screening rates among Montana adults increased significantly from 56% of adults being up to date in 2012 to 62% in 2014. However, rates remained at 62% in 2016 and there is still a long way to go to reach the 2018 goal of 80%.
62% of Montana adults aged 50 to 74 are up-to-date with colorectal cancer screenings.

The 80 x 2018 Initiative

The "80% by 2018" is a National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable initiative in which more than 1,000 organizations have committed to substantially reducing colorectal cancer as a major public health problem for those 50 and older. These organizations are working toward the shared goal of 80% of adults aged 50 and older being regularly screened for colorectal cancer by 2018. The 80% by 2018 initiative is led by the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (an organization co-founded by ACS and CDC).

The 80% by 2018 pledge is a non-binding commitment that encourages health systems to track (through an annual survey that is distributed nationwide by the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, or NCCRT) and increase colorectal cancer screening rates.


How to get screened for Colorectal Cancer

The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends that average risk adults aged 50 to 74 years be screened for colorectal cancer by one of the following regimens.

Type of test How often?          
High-Sensitivity Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) Once a year
Fecal immunochemical test (FIT) Once a year
Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Every 5 years
Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
Combined with
Every 10 years

Once a year
Colonoscopy Every 10 years

Talk to your doctor about which test is right for you.

The Impact of Colorectal Cancer on Montanans

  • Cancer is the leading cause of death among Montana residents.  About 2,000 Montanans die of cancer each year. (Data Source: Montana Office of Vital Statistics, 2010-2015)
  • Each year, about 500 Montanans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 170 Montanans die from it. (Data Source: Montana Central Tumor Registry, 2005-2014)
  • Only 2 out 5 CRC cases are diagnosed at a local early stage. (Data Source: Montana Central Tumor Registry, 2005-2014)
  • 2 in 5 adults aged 50 to 75 years are not up-to-date with colorectal cancer screening.  (Data Source: Montana Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2014)
  • Colorectal cancer screening has increased from 2012 to 2014, but we have work to do to reach 2018 goal. (Data Source: Montana Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2012 & 2014)
  • CRC Screening can find polyps early when it is most easily treatable.  Early Detection Save Lives.

Please visit Colorectal Cancer Disease of the Week Page at https://www.cdc.gov/dotw/colorectalcancer/ throughout the month for more information on Colorectal Cancer.

Leah Merchant, BA
Section Supervisor
1400 E. Broadway
Helena, Montana 59260-2951
(406) 444-4599