America's Health Rankings, United Health Foundation Logo

Colorectal Cancer Screening
Colorectal Cancer Screening in United States
United States

Explore national- and state-level data for hundreds of health, environmental and socioeconomic measures, including background information about each measure. Use features on this page to find measures; view subpopulations, trends and rankings; and download and share content.

How to use this page

United States Value:

61.8%

Percentage of adults ages 45-75 who reported receiving one or more of the recommended colorectal cancer screening tests within the recommended time interval (blood stool test within the past year; sigmoidoscopy within the past five years; colonoscopy within the past 10 years; stool DNA test within the past three years; virtual colonoscopy within the past five years or sigmoidoscopy within the past 10 years and blood stool test in the past year)

Colorectal Cancer Screening in depth:

Explore Population Data:

General Population

Appears In:

Colorectal Cancer Screening by State

Percentage of adults ages 45-75 who reported receiving one or more of the recommended colorectal cancer screening tests within the recommended time interval (blood stool test within the past year; sigmoidoscopy within the past five years; colonoscopy within the past 10 years; stool DNA test within the past three years; virtual colonoscopy within the past five years or sigmoidoscopy within the past 10 years and blood stool test in the past year)




Colorectal Cancer Screening Trends

Percentage of adults ages 45-75 who reported receiving one or more of the recommended colorectal cancer screening tests within the recommended time interval (blood stool test within the past year; sigmoidoscopy within the past five years; colonoscopy within the past 10 years; stool DNA test within the past three years; virtual colonoscopy within the past five years or sigmoidoscopy within the past 10 years and blood stool test in the past year)

Trend: Colorectal Cancer Screening in United States, 2023 Annual Report

Percentage of adults ages 45-75 who reported receiving one or more of the recommended colorectal cancer screening tests within the recommended time interval (blood stool test within the past year; sigmoidoscopy within the past five years; colonoscopy within the past 10 years; stool DNA test within the past three years; virtual colonoscopy within the past five years or sigmoidoscopy within the past 10 years and blood stool test in the past year)

United States
Source:

 CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

View All Populations

About Colorectal Cancer Screening

US Value: 61.8%

Top State(s): Maine: 68.9%

Bottom State(s): California: 52.4%

Definition: Percentage of adults ages 45-75 who reported receiving one or more of the recommended colorectal cancer screening tests within the recommended time interval (blood stool test within the past year; sigmoidoscopy within the past five years; colonoscopy within the past 10 years; stool DNA test within the past three years; virtual colonoscopy within the past five years or sigmoidoscopy within the past 10 years and blood stool test in the past year)

Data Source and Years: CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2022

Suggested Citation: America's Health Rankings analysis of CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United Health Foundation, AmericasHealthRankings.org, accessed 2023.

There is strong evidence that screening for colorectal cancer reduces mortality by removing precancerous growths and increasing early detection, which is optimal for effective treatment. Since peaking in 1985, colorectal cancer incidence rates have decreased 46% as of 2019.

Colorectal cancer was the third-leading cause of cancer deaths according to 2023 estimates and the third-leading cause of new cancer cases for both men and women in the United States. The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts & Figures report projects 153,020 new cases of colorectal cancer and over 52,550 colorectal cancer deaths in 2023.

According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, screening for colorectal cancer, which may include fecal sample testing, colonoscopy and/or sigmoidoscopy, is recommended for adults ages 45-75. Screening at earlier ages is recommended for those with particular risk factors or a family history of colorectal cancer. 

Multiple studies have shown that screening for colorectal cancer is cost-effective compared with not screening. Furthermore, if routine screenings started at age 45, an estimated 24-28 colorectal cancer deaths could be averted for every 1,000 adults screened.

According to America’s Health Rankings data, populations of adults ages 45-75 with a higher percentage of colorectal cancer screening include:

  • Women compared with men. 
  • White adults compared with Hispanic and Asian adults.
  • College graduates compared with those with lower levels of educational attainment. 
  • Adults with annual household incomes of $50,000 or more compared with those with an income of less than $25,000.
  • Straight adults compared with LGBQ+ adults.
  • Adults who have served in the U.S. armed forces compared with those who have not served.

There are many strategies to increase colorectal cancer screening. The Community Guide — a collection of evidence-based findings of the Community Preventive Services Task Force — recommends a multicomponent approach. The guide lists several strategies that work best when used in combination. These strategies include

  • Media campaigns to increase awareness.
  • Client reminders.
  • Cost reduction.
  • Addressing language and transportation barriers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has implemented a Colorectal Cancer Control Program that focuses on increasing screening for targeted groups. The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable has resources for increasing colorectal cancer screening rates in primary care

Additionally, County Health Rankings & Roadmaps recommends using patient navigators, also called system navigators, to help guide patients through medical, insurance and social support systems.

Healthy People 2030 has an objective of increasing the proportion of adults who receive the recommended colorectal cancer screening.

American Cancer Society. “Cancer Facts & Figures 2023.” Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society, 2023. https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/annual-cancer-facts-and-figures/2023/2023-cancer-facts-and-figures.pdf.

———. “Colorectal Cancer Facts & Figures 2020-2022.” Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society, 2020. https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/colorectal-cancer-facts-and-figures/colorectal-cancer-facts-and-figures-2020-2022.pdf.

DeGroff, Amy, Krishna Sharma, Anamika Satsangi, Kristy Kenney, Djenaba Joseph, Katherine Ross, Steven Leadbetter, et al. “Increasing Colorectal Cancer Screening in Health Care Systems Using Evidence-Based Interventions.” Preventing Chronic Disease 15 (August 9, 2018): 180029. https://doi.org/10.5888/pcd15.180029.

Patel, Shaan S., and Meredith L. Kilgore. “Cost Effectiveness of Colorectal Cancer Screening Strategies.” Cancer Control: Journal of the Moffitt Cancer Center 22, no. 2 (April 2015): 248–58. https://doi.org/10.1177/107327481502200219.

Siegel, Rebecca L., Nikita Sandeep Wagle, Andrea Cercek, Robert A. Smith, and Ahmedin Jemal. “Colorectal Cancer Statistics, 2023.” CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians 73, no. 3 (May 2023): 233–54. https://doi.org/10.3322/caac.21772.

Current Reports

America’s Health Rankings builds on the work of the United Health Foundation to draw attention to public health and better understand the health of various populations. Our platform provides relevant information that policymakers, public health officials, advocates and leaders can use to effect change in their communities.

We have developed detailed analyses on the health of key populations in the country, including women and children, seniors and those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, in addition to a deep dive into health disparities across the country.