Importance of Colorectal Cancer Screening, with Jordan Baeker Bispo, PhD, MPH


Jordan Baeker Bispo, PhD, MPH, discusses the importance of colorectal cancer screening, why clinician screening recommendations are so important, and how patient-clinician communication gaps should be addressed.

Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer in the US, yet clinician recommendations for screenings remain low, as highlighted by findings from a recent study of the prevalence of patient-reported colorectal cancer screening recommendations.

Using data from 61,479 patients who completed the 2019 and 2021 National Health Interview Survey, investigators identified and surveyed 5022 patients who were eligible and overdue for colorectal cancer screening and had a wellness visit in the past year. Receipt of a clinician recommendation for colorectal cancer screening was measured by asking participants “In the past 12 months, did a doctor or other health professional recommend that you be tested to look for problems in your colon or rectum?”.1

In total, 1425 (26.8%) participants reported receiving a clinician recommendation for colorectal cancer screening. The lowest prevalence was observed among patients without a usual source of care (9.7%) and who were uninsured (12.6%), although investigators pointed out estimates were similar in a sensitivity analysis excluding respondents without insurance or a usual source of care.1

In adjusted models, the prevalence of reporting a clinician recommendation for colorectal cancer screening was lower among non-Hispanic Asian (adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR], 0.53 [95% CI, 0.37-0.75]), non-Hispanic Black (aPR, 0.76 [95% CI, 0.63-0.92]), and Hispanic (aPR, 0.82 [95% CI, 0.67-1.01]) adults than non-Hispanic White adults. Receipt of a clinician recommendation was also less likely for those with less than a high school education (aPR, 0.76 [95% CI, 0.61-0.95]) relative to those who completed college as well as for uninsured adults (aPR, 0.51 [95% CI, 0.38-0.68]) compared to their counterparts with private insurance.1

The editorial team of HCPLive Gastroenterology sat down with primary investigator Jordan Baeker Bispo, PhD, MPH, principal scientist of cancer disparity research for the American Cancer Society, for more insight into study results, their implications in clinical practice, and how gaps in patient-clinician communication can be addressed moving forward.1


1. Bispo JB, Bandhi P, Jemal A, et al. Receipt of Clinician Recommendation for Colorectal Cancer Screening Among Underscreened U.S. Adults. Annals of Internal Medicine. September 11, 2023. doi:10.7326/M23-1341

2. Brooks, A. Study Finds Only 1 in 4 Get Colorectal Cancer Screening Recommendation. HCP Live. September 11, 2023.

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