Colorectal Cancer

These FIT and Colonoscopy Educational Videos can help explain the importance of screening:

CRC Video

San Francisco Cancer Initiative’s Colorectal Cancer Task Force with the help of animator Mark Wooding of University of California, San Francisco created an educational video on colon cancer screening in English, Cantonese, and Spanish. These videos highlight the importance of colon cancer screening for individuals between the ages of 50 to 75. The two detection methods illustrated in the videos are the fecal immunochemical test (FIT) and Colonoscopy. 

SF Stories read more

Joseph Chen
After my 50th birthday, my physician reminded me it was time for my first colonoscopy. I thought I’d always lived a pretty healthy lifestyle. I didn't think it was an urgent matter needed to be done right away. I finally got around to getting it two years later and was stunned when my doctor told me I had early-stage colon cancer. I never expected it could happen to me.
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News from the Task Forces:

BREAKING NEWS:  Resounding win for flavored tobacco ban in San Francisco June 6, 2018 [KTVU]

EVENT:  Get Your Rear in Gear: Saturday, July 8, 2018

San Francisco Cancer Initiative’s Colorectal Cancer Task Force is a proud Champion sponsor of the upcoming Get Your Rear in Gear, San Francisco.  Don’t miss out on this event in San Francisco on Sunday, July 8, 2018 at Lake Merced!  Click to join our team, the SF CAN CRC MisFITs!

This is a run/walk fundraiser that is organized by the Colon Cancer Coalition. Since 2005, these events have been held in 72 cities across the country with almost 30,000 participants in events each year. Money raised through the Get Your Rear in Gear event in San Francisco is donated to Operation Access to increase access to colonoscopy. Get Your Rear in Gear, San Francisco will be held at Lake Merced on Saturday, July 8, 2018.

To find out more about the event visit:
To find out more about Operation Access visit:

C4 Community Grant 2018:

San Francisco Cancer Initiative’s Colorectal Cancer Task Force co-leader, Ma Somsouk, MD, MAS has been awarded a 2018 Community Grant from the California Colorectal Cancer Coalition (C4). Shreya Patel, MD MPH and Patrick Avila, MD, MPH of University of California, San Francisco are co-directors of the award.

The C4 grant was awarded to for their proposal on reducing barriers to colonoscopy for patients with an abnormal stool test. The project will be implemented and completed at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital between March 2018 and February 2019. The project objectives are to

  1.  Increase the completion of colonoscopy following an abnormal stool test result
  2.  Improve patient understanding of abnormal stool test results through enhanced communication
  3.  Improve bowel prep prior to the time of colonoscopy through enhanced patient instructions and automated reminders.


We can reduce the rates of colorectal cancer by improving early detection and screening.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States and a leading cause of years of life lost to cancer in San Francisco.

Screening detects precancerous polyps before cancer can develop, as well as early stage cancers at a time when they can be cured. It is one of the most effective ways to prevent colorectal cancer deaths.

As colorectal cancer screening rates have increased locally and nationally, incidence and mortality from colorectal cancer has started to decline.

UCSF is committed to supporting the 80 by 18 campaign in San Francisco. 80 by 18 means raising the screening rate to 80% of eligible adults by 2018. Many of San Francisco’s health systems are already close to this level of screening, but there is still much to do , particularly among the underinsured and those who belong to medically vulnerable groups served by safety net clinics.

First steps

In our first year, SF-CAN will support safety net clinics belonging to the San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium. This includes technical assistance to increase screening rates, thorough reporting systems, and improving patient navigation to ensure that people with abnormal screening tests receive timely follow up.

UCSF, the American Cancer Society, San Francisco Health Plan, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, and other community stakeholders are partnering in these efforts.



  • American Cancer Society
  • San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium
  • San Francisco Department of Public Health
  • San Francisco Health Plan
  • UCSF
  • Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center


Task Force Recommendations:

By increasing completion of fecal immunochemical tests (FIT) among average risk patients, increasing the screening rate in participating clinics to 80%, and pursuing follow up colonoscopies with at-risk patients, the Task Force hopes to decrease the rate of colorectal cancers in San Francisco within 5 years.



Goal: Increased standardization around stool-based testing using single sample FIT

Method: Collaboration with community partners and the San Francisco DPH to all safety net clinics in SF use single sample FIT.



Goal: Increase screening of at-risk populations by 10% each year

Method: Help clinics increase CRC screening rates by providing materials, training, and technical assistance. Patient registries established



Goal: Decrease proportion of people without a follow-up colonoscopy within one year of an abnormal FIT by 10% each year

Method: Systematically identify patients with positive FIT and other high-risks and refer to ZSFG for colonoscopies