The Colorado Cancer Screening Program (CCSP) aims to reduce disparities in access to cancer screening among Colorado communities.
Directed through the University of Colorado Cancer Center, the Colorado Cancer Screening Program (CCSP) began as the Colorado Colorectal Screening Program in January 2006 with funding from the Cancer Cardiovascular and Chronic Pulmonary Disease (CCPD) grant program within the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The program expanded its scope in 2018 to become the Colorado Cancer Screening Program, focused on an expanded portfolio of screenable cancers including colorectal cancer (colonoscopy and stool-based testing methods), lung cancer, and hereditary cancer syndromes.
Through partnerships with community-based safety net clinic systems in all regions of the state, CCSP is the only statewide program for lung, colorectal and genetic/family history screening.
The mission of the Colorado Cancer Screening Program is to:
With a foundation in colonoscopy navigation for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening, participating clinic systems have successfully navigated eligible patients into 39,348 endoscopic CRC screening exams such as colonoscopy since the Program’s inception in 2006. Cancer has been detected in 286 individuals, that if not caught would have gone on later to more advanced disease, poorer prognoses, and diminished quality of life.
During the recently culminated July 2018-June 2023 CCPD grant cycle, clinic systems participating in the Program successfully navigated 12,121 individuals for CRC screening using colonoscopy and cancer was detected in 88 individuals. Additionally, there were 520 advanced polyps, the type of polyps that are most likely to develop into cancer, detected and removed.
In a previous estimation at the start of the past grant cycle, CCSP estimated that it had saved the health care system conservatively $12-$15 million based on the detection of at least 550 advanced adenomas and the conservative amount it would cost to treat (first course of therapy) if these had developed into cancer minus the program costs. With 520 additional advanced adenomas detected in the last grant cycle, the lifetime cost savings of the Program is estimated to have substantially increased.
A key accomplishment for CCSP and participating clinics in the last grant cycle was the ability to rebound and return to screening after the onset of COVID-19. Between 2021-2023, the screening rates of participating clinics were similar to screening rates prior to COVID-19, and are continuing to increase, despite ongoing challenges in capacity, staffing, and access.
There are persistent disparities in cancer screening, incidence, and late-stage mortality in Colorado and across the United States for many cancers among Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino populations, those that live in rural/frontier regions, and populations who are uninsured or with Medicaid. The program collected aggregate level data reported by participating clinic systems on intervention reach, outcomes, and patient demographics. Highlights of the program accomplishments in the past grant cycle (July 2018-June 2023) for CRC screening colonoscopy navigation, and capacity building projects for CRC screening stool-based testing, hereditary cancer risk assessment, and lung cancer screening include:
See Dwyer et al. (2022) for more information about the program structure, outcomes, and sustainability planning strategies in the July 2018-June 2023 grant cycle.
CCSP began a new CCPD funding cycle in July 2023 focused on implementation of a select set of evidence-based interventions for further improvement of colorectal cancer screening rates incorporating a team-based care approach, and will also continue to provide technical assistance and linkages to support for patient navigation, hereditary cancer risk assessment, and lung cancer screening.
Visit Our Website for additional information about our work and cancer screening implementation resources for healthcare teams and public health professionals.