I am a constituent and colorectal cancer advocate. I am writing to urge you to support $51 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Colorectal Cancer Control Program (CRCCP) in the FY24 Labor, Health, Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among men and women combined. According to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that 153,020 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the United States in 2023, and 52,550 people will die.
This doesn’t have to be our reality. We have the tools to reduce these numbers. Colorectal cancer can be prevented if caught early through timely screening.
Unfortunately, 1 in 3 Americans are not up to date with colorectal cancer screening. Less than 50% of Asian-Americans are up to date with colorectal cancer screening. Black Americans are 20% more likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 40% more likely to die from the disease than most other groups. We must do better.
The mission of the CRCCP is to increase colorectal cancer screening rates among people between ages 45 and 75 in underserved communities by implementing evidence-based interventions through partnerships with local health systems and providing screening and follow-up services for the country’s most vulnerable patients.
In just the first four years of the program, those who participated saw an average increase in screening rates of 12.3%. The CRCCP has partnered with state health departments and universities across the country, recruiting more than 800 clinics that serve over 1.3 million patients. Grants are awarded through a competitive process and are designed to focus on increasing screening in targeted populations by working with local community organizations. This allows each community to implement an evidence-based program that works best for its unique population.
As you work to craft the FY24 appropriations bills I urge you to support $51 million for the CDC’s Colorectal Cancer Control Program so that this program can not only continue its work, but also expand life-saving screening to more of our nation’s most vulnerable patients. To sign the House letter please contact Sam Morgante in Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr’s office at email@example.com. To sign the Senate letter, please contact Gloria Nunez in Sen. Cory Booker’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your consideration.