Health Equity

young black man in blue vest

Breaking Down Barriers, Increasing Access

Colorectal cancer has a greater than 90% survival rate with early detection and treatment, but disparities limit access to equitable screening and treatment for many, particularly Black Americans, American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN), and underserved Americans, who are disproportionately affected by the disease. 

Data shows us the impact of disparities: 

  • Black Americans are 15% more likely to get colorectal cancer and 35% more likely to die from it
  • Hispanic Americans are screened at lower rates, with only slightly more than 50% of those eligible checked for colorectal cancer
  • The racial disparity in incidence for both sexes combined widened for AI/AN individuals from 21% to 41%
  • Pervasive stigma, discomfort with screening methods, lack of institutional trustworthiness, and bias/racism in the healthcare system
  • Patients with a lower economic status of any race are at substantially higher risk for undertreatment and treatment delay

The Colorectal Cancer Alliance is committed to breaking down barriers to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment for all at-risk individuals. Health equity is achieved when disparities cease to exist. By working with allies at every level of the healthcare system, incorporating feedback from stakeholders, and conducting evidence-based interventions at the national level and in the community, we hope to positively impact achieving health equity for all.

Gus and Moretta


                       Our Programs & Initiatives

Colorectal Cancer Disparities

Alliance Programs to Address Health Equity

Lack of wealth, uninsured, underinsured affect timely diagnosis and treatment
  • Free colonoscopies for Black Americans in partnership with BLKHLTH and Cottonelle Low/no-cost colonoscopies; partnership with Colonoscopy assist
Barriers to screening include lack of awareness, mistrust, missed wages, transportation, and limited access to screening services
  • Free online screening quiz delivering education, awareness, and a personalized, screening recommendation; the Alliance is working to translate the quiz into Spanish
  • Certified, bilingual screening navigators to talk through screening methods and access resources needed to screen
Lack of insurance coverage, access to specialized cancer centers, and cultural competence in healthcare settings
  • Certified care navigators to help access resources, including enrolling in clinical trials and accessing financial resources, for patients, families, and caregivers
  • BlueHQ provides comprehensive and free access to resources to assist patients in their cancer journey
  • Financial assistance for non-medical expenses related to CRC screening and treatment, including lodging, food and family care
  • Alliance affinity groups, including Never Too Young and BOSS, provide much needed resources and support for patients, families, and caregivers
Lack of public awareness and education about colorectal cancer contribute to delayed diagnosis and treatment
  • Cycles of Impact programs in Philadelphia and Atlanta focusing on targeted screening solutions to areas with most need
  • Community-based volunteers raise awareness, share stories, and help navigate to screening and care resources
  • Screening and prevention awareness through national and local marketing campaigns
Lack of research funding to study critical areas of disparity in colorectal cancer
  • Innovative, breakthrough research grants to understand disparity and pilot equity interventions

Impact Towards Equity

Stats from 2022


people screened through Alliance initiatives


test kits distributed


helpine calls handled


colonoscopies sponsored


financial stipends provided

Suzanna Sousa
Three men outside sitting

Health Equity Advisory Committee

In 2023, the Alliance announced the formation of its Health Equity Advisory Committee, bringing together a diverse, integrative and multidisciplinary group of esteemed experts, thought-leaders and community change-agents to help drive meaningful discussion and real solutions to barriers preventing equity in cancer care. The Committee meets quarterly and is currently tasked with helping the Alliance establish a comprehensive three to five year strategic plan for its health equity programs and initiatives.

Ladonna with dog

Support Our Mission

Even with new screening guidelines lowering the minimum screening age to 45 from 50, many will not get screened due to the stigma around colorectal cancer. And colorectal cancer rates in adults under 50 continue to climb at an alarming rate. We have a lot of work to do and you can help make an immediate impact by donating to our Health Equity Fund, which supports our Health Equity programs and services. (Designate your gift to the "Health Equity Fund" on the donation form.)


The Health Equity Fund will create immediate impact by:

  • Offering free or low-cost screening options
  • Providing financial assistance for patients during treatment/alleviate cost burdens for treatment (e.g. transportation, bills, childcare)
  • Promoting community-based awareness campaigns with culturally relevant messaging
  • Enabling innovative research to identify reasons for and solutions to disparities
  • Connecting those most in need with high quality and potentially lifesaving screening, treatment, and clinical trial options

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