Despite evidence supporting the value of screening, in 2005 only 50% of U.S. adults aged 50 and older had been screened according to guidelines. Rates of screening for colorectal cancer are consistently lower than those for other common cancers, particularly breast and cervical cancer. A range of colorectal cancer screening tests are available in the United States, including fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy (internal examination of the lower part of the large intestine), and colonoscopy (internal examination of the entire large intestine).
An NIH State-of-the-Science Conference on Enhancing Use and Quality of Colorectal Cancer Screening will be held February 2-4, 2010. After weighing the results of a systematic literature review, expert presentations, and audience input, an impartial, independent panel will prepare a statement of its collective assessment of the available evidence with regard to six predetermined conference questions. The panel's press telebriefing will highlight its findings and implications for the public.