In 2014, a national campaign was launched to increase colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates in the United States to 80% by 2018; it is unknown whether there is sufficient colonoscopy capacity to reach this goal. This study estimated the number of colonoscopies needed to screen 80% of the eligible population with fecal immunochemical testing (FIT) or colonoscopy and determined whether there was sufficient colonoscopy capacity to meet the need.METHODS:
The Microsimulation Screening Analysis–Colon model was used to simulate CRC screening test use in the United States (2014-2040); the implementation of a national screening program in 2014 with FIT or colonoscopy with 80% participation was assumed. The 2012 Survey of Endoscopic Capacity (SECAP) estimated the number of colonoscopies that were performed and the number that could be performed.RESULTS:
If a national screening program started in 2014, by 2024, approximately 47 million FIT procedures and 5.1 million colonoscopies would be needed annually to screen the eligible population with a program using FIT as the primary screening test; approximately 11 to 13 million colonoscopies would be needed annually to screen the eligible population with a colonoscopy-only screening program. According to the SECAP survey, an estimated 15 million colonoscopies were performed in 2012, and an additional 10.5 million colonoscopies could be performed.CONCLUSIONS:
The estimated colonoscopy capacity is sufficient to screen 80% of the eligible US population with FIT, colonoscopy, or a mix of tests. Future analyses should take into account the geographic distribution of colonoscopy capacity.
There is sufficient colonoscopy capacity to screen 80% of the eligible US population with fecal immunochemical testing, colonoscopy, or a mix of tests.