CDC awards $22.8 million to states for colon cancer screening

Grant funds were awarded to 31 states, universities and an American Indian tribe in an effort to screen at-risk, low-income, and under-insured middle age and older adults.

By Stephen Feller

ATLANTA, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control announced it has awarded $22.8 million to increase screening for colorectal cancer among people most at-risk for the disease and least likely to be tested.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer of men and women in the United States, and the fourth most commonly diagnosed, according to the National Cancer Institute. The agency estimates that more than 130,000 new cases of colon and rectal cancer are diagnosed each year.


"We are enthusiastic about these grantees promoting more colorectal cancer screening," said Dr. Lisa Richardson, director of CDC's Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, in a press release. "We know that colorectal cancer screening can prevent illness and death from colorectal cancer. The more people that are screened, the fewer cases of this cancer we'll see in the future."

The $22.8 million in grants was awarded to 24 state health departments, six universities, and one American Indian tribe.

The states whose departments of health received grants are Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delware, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington state, and Washington, D.C.


The universities receiving grants included West Virginia University, University of Chicago, University of Puerto Rico, University of South Carolina, Universityof Wisconsin, and Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

The Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board received grant funding as well.

Each of the organizations is required to target colorectal screening at adult men and women between the ages of 50 and 75 who have no symptoms of the disease. Members of at-risk populations, such as low-income, under- or uninsured, racial and ethnic groups disproportionately affected or who have geographic barriers to screening, are the ideal recipients of screenings as a result of the funds.

"Screening saves lives, and funds we are providing the states will support doctors, nurses, and others to save lives," said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC.

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