Skip Navigation U.S. Department of Health and Human Services www.hhs.gov
Agency for Healthcare Research Quality www.ahrq.gov
Archive print banner
2004 National Healthcare Quality Report

This information is for reference purposes only. It was current when produced and may now be outdated. Archive material is no longer maintained, and some links may not work. Persons with disabilities having difficulty accessing this information should contact us at: https://info.ahrq.gov. Let us know the nature of the problem, the Web address of what you want, and your contact information.

Please go to www.ahrq.gov for current information.

Findings

Trends in Colorectal Cancer Mortality

The NHQR tracks both process and outcome measures of quality. The ultimate outcome of the quality of care offered for cancer is the death rate from leading cancers. Colorectal cancer mortality is measured below as the number of deaths per 100,000 persons.

Figure 2.1. U.S. death rate for colorectal cancer, 1984-2001

Figure 2.1. U.S. death rate for colorectal cancer, 1984-2001

[D] Select for Text Description.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics data, National Vital Statistics System-Mortality (analyzed by National Cancer Institute).

  • Colorectal cancers are the second leading cause of cancer mortality with 56,000 deaths projected in 2004.
  • The death rate from colorectal cancers has been falling steadily since 1984 by an average of almost 2% per year (Figure 2.1).
  • The Healthy People 2010 goal of 13.9 deaths per 100,000 people will not be met if the long-term trend continues at its current pace.

Advanced Stage Detection Rate

Cancers can be diagnosed at different stages of development. Monitoring the rate of cases of cancer that are diagnosed at late or advanced stages is a good measure of the effectiveness of cancer screening efforts.

Figure 2.2. Rate of new cases of advanced stage colorectal cancer, 1992-2001

Figure 2.2. Rate of new cases of advanced stage colorectal cancer, 1992-2001

[D] Select for Text Description.

Source: National Cancer Institute, Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program, released April 2004, based on the November 2003 submission.

Note: Denominator includes men and women age 50 and over. Numerator includes those in the age group diagnosed at an advanced stage (tumors diagnosed at regional or distant stage). Rates are age adjusted to the 2000 U.S. population.

  • The incidence rate of advanced stage colorectal cancer has steadily declined between 1998 and 2001 on the average of 2.9 per 100,000 per year for people 50 years of age and older.
  • The largest 1-year drop of the last decade (4.3 new cases per 100,000) was for the most recent year of data, 2001 (Figure 2.2).

Screening for Colorectal Cancer

National guidelines support the use of two types of colorectal cancer screening, colorectal endoscopy and fecal occult blood testing (FOBT). Guidelines suggest that FOBT is most effective when done at 1- to 2-year intervals, while research is ongoing on the optimal timing for endoscopy.

Figure 2.3. Percent of adults (ages 50+) who had colorectal cancer screening, by type, 1987-2000

Figure 2.3. Percent of adults (ages 50+) wo had colorectal cancer screening, by type, 1987-2000

[D] Select for Text Description.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey (analyzed by the National Cancer Institute).

  • The trend for colorectal screening with endoscopy has been rising since 1987 to 39% of the population age 50 and over in 2000 (Figure 2.3). However, at that rate, the HP2010 goal of 50% will not be met.
  • The trend for colorectal screening with FOBT rose between 1987 and 1998 and then showed no change between 1998 and 2000. At this rate of change, the HP2010 goal of 50% will not be met.
  • Although the screening rate for colorectal cancers has been increasing overall, less than half of Americans age 50 and over—about 45 million people—are screened for colorectal cancer by FOBT in the last 2 years or endoscopy ever.

 

The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.

 

AHRQ Advancing Excellence in Health Care