Colorectal cancer (CRC)—cancer of the colon or rectum—is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. In 2008, The American Cancer Society estimated that 148,810 men and women would be diagnosed with CRC and 49,960 would die of the disease. The importance of early detection of CRC is evidenced by the observed differences in survival depending on the stage of disease at the time of diagnosis, 90% of which is diagnosed after age 50. The 5-year survival for patients with localized (limited to the bowel wall) disease is approximately 90%. Unfortunately, only 39% of CRCs are identified at this stage.
Although CRC screening rates are improving overall, a significant proportion of the population are not receiving appropriate screening .Several studies have identified that a physician recommendation is one of the most influential factors and predictors of whether a patient undergoes screening for CRC. This program is designed to help physicians improve their performance in screening for CRC.
Beginning on February 1, 2010 this program will be eligible for Maintenance of Certification for Family Physicians.