Quality of Care
Prevention – Colorectal Cancer Screening
The graph above shows VA medical center scores compared with non-VA hospital scores for colorectal cancer screening. The percentages represent the number of patients who received the recommended colon cancer screening. For this measure, a higher percentage indicates a higher quality of care, with 100 percent being the target.
What is this measure?
Colorectal cancer or colon cancer occurs when polyps or growths form in the lining of the colon or rectum. Most are benign, which means they are not cancerous. But in a small number of people, polyps can become malignant (cancerous). This occurs when cells in these polyps begin growing abnormally. In time, malignant cells invade more and more of the colon and rectum. Finding and removing polyps can help prevent cancer from ever forming.
What are we measuring?
It is recommended that people ages 50 and older receive colon cancer screenings (every one to ten years depending on the screening method) to check for the presence of colon cancer. The graph above shows the percentage of people in this age range who met the criteria for and received a colon cancer screening during the year.
Why is this important?
Screening is important to help find health problems before they cause symptoms. If colon cancer screening reveals a problem, diagnosis and treatment can occur promptly. In addition, finding and removing areas of abnormal cell growth may be one of the most effective ways to prevent colon cancer development.