Background

Screening for colorectal cancer utilizing fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy has shown significant benefit for reduction in the rates of colorectal cancer. With varied rates of colon cancer in different states we looked to see if screening rates accounted for the differences.

Methods

Utilizing the CDC Wonder database along with Census data for state population from 2015 we were able to generate a rate of colon cancer by gender for all 50 states (as well as the district of Columbia).  We then utilized the Leading Indicators for Chronic Diseases and Risk Factors data from the CDC for screening utilization by state for ages 50-75.  We used the age-adjusted rates from 2016 (data set not fully populated for 2015). We then ran a Pearson Correlation calculation over the current smoking (by gender) vs colon and rectal cancer incidence rate and then calculated a P value from the score.

Results

Table 1 shows the data used in the analysis.

The Pearson Correlation Coefficient (R) for the males was -0.1243 and is considered a weak negative correlation. The P value from this correlation was 0.385977 and not considered significant. Figure 1 shows the scatter plot for screening tests vs colon and rectal cancer rate for males.

The Pearson Correlation Coefficient (R) for the males was 0.0188 and is considered a weak positive correlation. The P value from this correlation was 0.895821 and not considered significant. Figure 2 shows the scatter plot for screening tests vs colon and rectal cancer rate for females.

Conclusion

In a non-adjusted analysis of screening rates for colon cancer rate there was no significant difference. Further refinement is needed to assess for any specific demographic that may contribute to the differences in state rates.