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Colorectal Cancer Prevention and Early Detection
Colorectal Cancer Prevention and Early Detection: What Role Does the Primary Care Provider Play?

Colorectal Cancer Prevention and Early Detection: What Role Does the Primary Care Provider Play?

Colorectal Cancer Screening Saves Lives

Colorectal cancer (CRC) —cancer of the colon or rectum—is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. In 2009, 51,848 people in the United States died of colorectal cancer (26,806 men and 25,042 women).

CRC screening can find precancerous polyps (abnormal growths in the colon or rectum) so that they can be removed before turning into cancer.  CRC screening also helps find colorectal cancer at an early stage, when treatment often leads to a cure. About nine out of every 10 people whose colorectal cancer is found early and treated are still alive five years later. If everyone aged 50 or older had regular screening tests and all precancerous polyps were removed, the majority of deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented.

About this Course

This pre-recorded webinar is presented by the Office of Continuing Medical Education in partnership with the California Department of Public Health's California Colon Cancer Control Program.  The video presentation, narrated by Nana Y. Tufuoh, MD, MPH, is approximately 50 minutes long and divided into two modules.

Module One provides a brief review of the epidemiology of colorectal cancer; colorectal cancer health disparities in California; screening guidelines for those at average, increased and highest risk for colorectal cancer; recommended screening and early diagnosis tests for colorectal cancer; system and patient barriers to receiving screening and early diagnosis tests; and the Primary Care Provider’s role in early detection and management of colorectal cancer.

Module Two provides a step-by-step action plan based on the CDC and American Cancer Society's How to Increase CRC Screening Rates in Practice: A Primary Care Clinician's Evidence-Based Toolbox and Guide.  The plan is to help busy providers implement the tools and strategies in the Guide.In addition, an online toolbox is available to provide the necessary resources for clinicians to implement guidelines in practice, improve screening and detection, and educate patients.  A pre- and post-test will help the participant to assess one's own level of knowledge and practice and emphasize key points from the activity.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  1. Assess patients’ colorectal cancer (CRC) risk status and recommend appropriate screening;

  2. Implement practice policies to ensure that:

    1. All eligible patients receive a recommendation for CRC screening. 

    2. Patient and provider reminders are used to alert when screening is due;

    3. Tracking system is used to assure appropriate and timely screening and follow-up tests and patient notification;

  3. Measure practice adherence to United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendations for CRC screening, and if needed, make quality improvement (QI) changes  to policies/system to improve performance.

Method of Participation/ Instructions for Obtaining Credit 

To obtain credit, participants should listen to the pre-recorded module, peruse and download the necessary resources from the online toolbox, answer the multiple-choice questions in both the pre-test and post-test, and complete the evaluation form online to receive a certificate.  The pre-test is not scored, but you must receive a score of 75% or better (7 of 9 questions correct) on the post-course quiz to earn a certificate.  You have an unlimited number of attempts to successfully complete the post-test.  Your certificate will be available immediately for print or download upon completion of the entire activity.  

Estimated Time

The estimated time to complete all the components of this activity is 90 minutes, which is equivalent to 1.5 credits.

Media Format(s)

Streaming video with recorded slides and audio. 

Release Dates and Fees

Released: June 30, 2014; Expires: June 30, 2016

Tuition to access the course is $35 and all credit cards are accepted online.


This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the University of California, San Francisco and the California Department of Public Health California Colon Cancer Control ProgramThe University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine (UCSF) is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians and takes responsibility for the content, quality, and scientific integrity of this CME activity.

UCSF designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Michael B. Potter, MD
Professor of Family and Community Medicine
University of California, San Francisco

Lukejohn Day, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
University of California, San Francisco


This UCSF CME activity was planned and developed to uphold academic standards to ensure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor; adhere to requirements to protect health information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA); and include a mechanism to inform learners when unapproved or unlabeled uses of therapeutic products or agents are discussed or referenced.

The faculty speakers, moderators and planning committee members have disclosed that they have NO financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any commercial entities who have provided products or services relating to their presentation(s) for this continuing medical education activity.


Supplemental Material: 

Cultural and Linguistic Competency Resources 


UCSF Online Privacy Policy  


Software Requirements

Microsoft Windows XP or above.
Internet Explorer (v5.5 or greater), or Firefox
Flash Player Plug-in (9.0 or later) Check your version here.
Sound Card & Speakers
800 x 600 Minimum Monitor Resolution (1024 x 768 Recommended)
Adobe Acrobat Reader*

MAC OS 10.2.8
Safari or Firefox
Flash Player Plug-in (9.0 or later) Check your version here.
Sound Card & Speakers
800 x 600 Minimum Monitor Resolution (1024 x 768 Recommended)
Adobe Acrobat Reader*
Internet Explorer is not supported on the Macintosh.

* Required to view printable (PDF) version of the lesson


UCSF School of Medicine
Office of Continuing Medical Education
3333 California Street, Suite 450
San Francisco, CA  94118

Phone: (415) 476-4251(415) 476-4251 • Fax: (415) 476-0318
Email: • Web:

Type:     Internet Activity (Enduring Material)
380 Registered Users
1.5 Credits, 1.5 Credits> Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education> AMA PRA Category 1 Credit