The IOM's National Cancer Policy Board estimated in 2003 that even modest efforts to implement known tactics for cancer prevention and early detection could result in up to a 29 percent drop in cancer deaths in about 20 years. The IOM's National Cancer Policy Forum, which succeeded the Board after it was disbanded in 2005, continued the Board's work to outline ways to increase screening in the U.S.
On February 25 and 26, 2008, the Forum convened a workshop to discuss screening for colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer screening remains low, despite strong evidence that screening prevents deaths. With the aim to make recommended colorectal cancer screening more widespread, the workshop discussed steps to be taken at the clinic, community, and health system levels. Workshop speakers, representing a broad spectrum of leaders in the field, identified major barriers to increased screening and described strategies to overcome these obstacles. This workshop summary highlights the information presented, as well as the subsequent discussion about actions needed to increase colorectal screening and, ultimately, to prevent more colorectal cancer deaths.