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Colorectal Cancer: An examination of state colorectal cancer laws and significant events that have influenced the enactment of such laws

Regina El Arculli, MA1, Joanna M. King, JD2, Joanna Shoffner, MA2, and Jill Freudenwald, MA2. (1) Office of Policy Analysis and Response, National Cancer Institute, Building 31, Room 10A48, 31 Center Drive, MSC 2580, Bethesda, MD 20892-2580, (301) 496-5217, elarculli@nih.gov, (2) Center for Health Policy and Legislative Analysis, The Mayatech Corporation, 1100 Wayne Avenue, Suite 900, Silver Spring, MD 20910-5645

Colorectal cancers–cancers of the colon and rectum–are the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States (following lung cancer) and the third most common cancer among men and women.1 The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimated in 2004 that 56,730 Americans would likely die of colorectal cancer and that approximately 146,940 new cases would be diagnosed in 2004.2 Incidence has declined by 3 percent per year during the time period 1998 to 2000, which researchers have attributed to increased screening and other preventive measures.3

As of January 1, 2004, seventeen states and the District of Columbia had in effect laws addressing third-party coverage for colorectal cancer screening procedures. State laws vary based upon whether coverage must be provided or offered and at what levels, and the extent to which coverage must meet certain minimum recommended guidelines.

This presentation will provide a summary of state laws related to colorectal cancer screening and will highlight the extent to which state laws mandate conformance to the requirements of the ACS’s Colorectal Screening and Surveillance Guidelines or other nationally recognized guidelines. Information also will be incorporated on risk factors, symptomology, screening methods, and preventive steps as well as statistical screening and incidence trends data. The presentation will also outline significant events that have affected legislation, awareness and screening, including the intense publicity afforded the issue by television personality Katie Couric in the wake of her husband’s colorectal cancer-related death.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Public Health Policy, Legislative

Related Web page: www.scld-nci.net

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Healthy Lifestyles for Cardiovascular Health and Smoking Prevention

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA