Context: Colorectal cancer (CRC) has a high mortality rate and a large financial burden. Therefore, it is imperative to screen appropriately for this disease. By evaluating trends in different CRC screening methods and evaluating screening methods based on sex and race, improvements in screening can be made.
Objectives: By analyzing data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), our primary objective was to evaluate trends in CRC screening methods from 2018 through 2020. Our secondary objectives were to investigate deviations in screening rates by sex and race/ethnicity.
Methods: A cross-sectional design was utilized to analyze trends in CRC screening methods utilizing data from the BRFSS for the years 2018 through 2020. Sex and race were also analyzed to evaluate for deviations in screening rates.
Results: All race/ethnicity groups most often completed colonoscopies, with all but individuals identifying as Hispanic having higher than 56% completion rates. Individuals reporting as Hispanic received more blood stool tests than other races at 23.4%. Average CRC screening among all methods showed that 89.7% of individuals who reported as being White completed screening, with 91.3% of individuals reporting as Black, and 81.9% with race not listed, completed screening. Individuals identifying as Asian (74.4%), American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN [79.2%]) and Hispanic (78.1%) had lower rates of screening overall.
Conclusions: Our study found that trends in CRC screening were similar across years for individuals who reported as being White or Black. We also found that those identifying as Asian, AI/AN, Hispanic, and those whose identifying race was not listed deviated across years. These latter groups were also less likely to have received colonoscopies, the gold standard of screening. Because CRC is oftentimes a preventable disease, the importance of appropriate screening cannot be emphasized enough.