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New Hampshire Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration Joins Forces with Hundreds of Local and National Organizations to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates

The New Hampshire Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration has made the pledge to help increase colorectal cancer screening rates by supporting the 80% by 2018 initiative, led by the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable.

“80% by 2018” is an initiative in which hundreds of organizations have committed to substantially reducing colorectal cancer as a major public health problem and are working toward the shared goal of 80% of adults aged 50 and older being regularly screened for colorectal cancer by 2018.

According to the latest Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) data, New Hampshire’s screening rate is 74.7%, among the highest in the country, and yet colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths for men and women combined in our state. However, it is one of only a few cancers that can be prevented.

Through colorectal cancer screening, doctors can find and remove polyps before they become cancerous. Removing polyps can prevent cancer.

Colorectal cancer is a major public health problem, and adults age 50 and older should be regularly screened for it.  Many people aren’t getting tested because they don’t believe they are at risk, don’t understand that there are testing options, or don’t think they can afford it.  Colorectal cancer in its’ early stages usually has no symptoms. Several screening options including take home tests are available.

Part of the 80% by 2018 goal is to leverage the energy of multiple and diverse partners to empower communities, patients and providers to increase screening rates. The 80% by 2018 initiative consists of health care providers, health systems, communities, businesses, community health centers, government, non-profit organizations and patient advocacy groups, among others, who are committed to getting more people screened for colorectal cancer to prevent more cancers and save lives.

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