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Beyond Early Detection: Bridging the Gaps in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Support │Takeda Oncology │ Leadership │ Article | Partnership | Innovation

Beyond Early Detection: Bridging the Gaps in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Support

Beyond Early Detection: Bridging the Gaps in Metastatic Colorectal Cancer Support

In the United States, colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths, with a projected toll of over 50,000 deaths in 2024. Overall, the lifetime risk of developing CRC is about 1 in 23 for men and 1 in 25 for women.1

When people are diagnosed with later stage or more advanced CRC, it is known as metastatic CRC (mCRC).2 When a cancer metastasizes, it means that cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body.3 When caught early, CRC is often treatable and, in many cases, curable, speaking to the importance of screening and early detection. However, at least 20% of people are diagnosed with CRC in the metastatic stage, and about 50% of people diagnosed with localized CRC will develop metastases over the course of their disease.4,5 After cancer metastasizes, treatment can become much more challenging and as a result, many people experience diminished survival outcomes and quality of life.6

A Prevalent Cancer, A Lack of Support

While CRC ranks among the most prevalent types of cancers, there are still considerable gaps in care and resources for patients, particularly for those experiencing structural challenges and barriers that impact both treatment access and survival outcomes.

The distribution of CRC and mCRC is not even across U.S. subpopulations; there is a marked difference in incidence among different racial and ethnic groups. For example, Black Americans are about 20% more likely to get CRC and about 40% more likely to die from it than any other racial group in the U.S.7 Additional factors that could impact disease experience with CRC are socioeconomic status, insurance access, geography and environmental exposure, among others.

There is a wealth of information available around screening and prevention of CRC, but educational resources are sparse by comparison for patients with advanced CRC. While early detection of CRC is the hope, the unfortunate truth is that many people are either diagnosed with advanced CRC or will progress to it over time. Recognizing the challenges and diverse experience of those with mCRC is not widely documented. There is a critical need to develop comprehensive resources to assist the broader community in providing better support, particularly as new treatment options and combinations emerge, offering people more decisions to navigate.

ASHLEY CALABRESE Patient Advocacy Lead, Colorectal Cancer, Takeda Oncology

A United Purpose to Support Advanced CRC Patients

Joined by a passion to make a difference for advanced CRC patients, Takeda and four leading advocacy organizations are launching a U.S. survey to identify the most pressing needs concerning disease and treatment navigation. Through this collaborative effort, we intend to uncover actionable insights that will help guide the collective development of resources and education to support patients. Our partners include:

Colorectal Cancer Alliance: Founded 25 years ago by more than 40 CRC survivors, caregivers and friends, the Alliance advocates for screening, magnifies patient support and accelerates research. It exists to end CRC in our lifetime.

COLONTOWN: Founded by a CRC survivor looking to create a disease-specific community, COLONTOWN empowers proactive colorectal cancer patients and caregivers with educational tools and relevant peer-to-peer support.

BLKHLTH: BLKHLTH is an Atlanta-based non-profit with a mission to advance the health of Black communities through equity-centered education, advocacy, research and programs.

Family Reach: Family Reach is a non-profit that provides non-medical financial support to people facing cancer. They work with patients, providers and community organizations to challenge the systems that force families to choose between their health and their home.

We will be unveiling findings for the survey throughout 2024. To learn more about our partners we are collaborating with, please visit their channels: Colorectal Cancer AllianceGo to https://colorectalcancer.org/, COLONTOWNGo to https://colontown.org/, BLKHLTHGo to https://www.blkhlth.com/ and Family ReachGo to https://familyreach.org/.


  1. American Cancer Society. Key Statistics for Colorectal Cancer. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/types/colon-rectal-cancer/about/key-statistics.html

  2. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Treatment for Metastatic Colon Cancer. Available at: https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/types/colon/treatment/metastases

  3. City of Hope Cancer Treatment Centers. Metastatic Colorectal Cancer (stage 4). Available at: https://www.cancercenter.com/cancer-types/colorectal-cancer/types/metastatic-colorectal-cancer

  4. Biller LH, Schrag D. Diagnosis and Treatment of Metastatic Colorectal Cancer: A Review. JAMA. 2021;325(7):669-685. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.0106

  5. Atreya CE, Yaeger R, Chu E. Systemic therapy for metastatic colorectal cancer: from current standards to future molecular targeted approaches. Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book. 2017;37:246-256. doi:10.1200/EDBK_175679

  6. American Cancer Society. Treatment of colon cancer, by stage. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/types/colon-rectal-cancer/treating/by-stage-colon.html

  7. American Cancer Society. Colorectal Cancer Rates Higher in African Americans, Rising in Younger People. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/latest-news/colorectal-cancer-rates-higher-in-african-americans-rising-in-younger-people.html

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