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Alaska Native Epidemiology Center

Colorectal Cancer Control Program

Colorectal cancer is the leading cause of new cases of cancer among Alaska Native people. Screening can prevent this cancer or catch it early. Since 2000, screening rates among Alaska Native people have doubled, but still remain below nationally recommended levels.

From 2009-2015, ANTHC had a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) funded program to increase colorectal cancer screening among Alaska Native and American Indian people by working with Tribal health organizations around the state.

For general information about Colorectal Cancer and important screening information, please visit

ANTHC Patient Navigators

Featured: ANMC Patient Navigators

First-degree relatives (parents, siblings, children) of persons diagnosed with colorectal cancer are at increased risk of colorectal cancer themselves. ANMC colorectal cancer screening patient navigators help first-degree relatives get this important health screening.

Community Education   top

Colorectal cancer is cancer that grows in the colon (large intestine) or the rectum. Screening helps your provider find and remove polyps before they turn cancerous, or catch cancer at an early stage when it’s highly treatable. Alaska Native people who are 40 years old and older or who have a family history of colorectal cancer are encouraged to talk with their providers or local Tribal health organization about getting colorectal cancer screenings.

I Got Screened Campaign Logo

The Cancer I Can

In 2014, the Alaska Colorectal Cancer Partnership launched a media campaign to increase colorectal cancer screening among Alaskans over age 50 (over 40 for Alaska Native people). We wanted Alaskans who have already been screened to tell their story and inspire others. Check out their stories and to share yours at

Nolan the Colon with Polyp Man

Nolan the Inflatable

Nolan the Colon is a giant inflatable walk-through replica of the human colon that illustrates the development of colorectal cancer and information on how to prevent colorectal cancer. Nolan the Colon has traveled to 31 communities and has had approximately 17,000 visitors. Contact us if you would like Nolan or Nolan Jr. to visit your community!

EpiCenter YouTube Videos

Screening Materials

We offer a wide array of screening materials including YouTube videos, brochures, flyers, posters, etc. If you are interested in any of our screening materials, please contact us.

For Providers   top

Portrait of ANMC Physicians and Endoscopists

People are more likely to get screened if they hear a strong recommendation from their healthcare provider. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends colorectal cancer screening for all men and women ages 50-75. Those with a family history of colorectal cancer should begin screening at age 40. The Alaska Native Medical Center recommends that Alaska Native people begin screening at age 40.

Research   top

Colon Research Graphic

ANTHC's Epicenter works on a number of projects to increase colorectal cancer screening, including research into new colorectal cancer screening methods, increasing providers trained in colorectal screening in rural areas, and designing education materials that encourage community members to be screened for colorectal cancer.

Read below on current research from Dr. Ahlquist:

Dr.Ahlquist's ANMC presentation (.pdf)

Ahlquist Colon Video (1) Ahlquist Colon Video (2)
Ahlquist Colon Video (3) Ahlquist Colon Video (4)
Ahlquist Colon Video (5) Ahlquist Colon Video (6)

Select Publications

  • Joseph D, Redwood D, DeGroff A, Butler E. Use of evidence-based interventions to address disparities in colorectal cancer screening. MMWR Supplements 2016; 65(01):21–28.
  • Redwood D, Asay ED, Blake ID, Sacco PE, Christensen CM, Sacco FD, Tiesinga JJ, Devens ME, Alberts SR, Mahoney DW, Yab TC, Foote PH, Smyrk TC, Provost EM, Ahlquist DA. Stool DNA testing for screening detection of colorectal neoplasia in Alaska Native people. Mayo Clin Proc. 2016;91(1):61-70.
  • Redwood D, Provost E, Lopez E, Skewes M, Johnson R, Christensen C, Sacco F, Haverkamp D. A Process Evaluation of the Alaska Native Colorectal Cancer Family Outreach Program. Health Education and Behavior 2016 Feb;43(1):35-42.
  • Redwood D, Provost E, Asay E, Roberts D, Haverkamp D, Perdue D, Bruce MG, Sacco F, Espey D. Comparison of guaiac-based and immunochemical fecal occult blood tests for colorectal cancer screening in an Alaska Native population with high prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection. Prev Chronic Disease 2014;11:E56.
  • Redwood D, Provost E, Asay E, Ferguson J, Muller J. Giant inflatable colon and community knowledge, intention, and social support for colorectal cancer screening. Prev Chronic Dis 2013;10:120192.
  • Kelly J, Alberts S, Sacco F, Lanier AP. Colorectal cancer in Alaska Native people, 2005-2009. Gastrointest Cancer Res. 2012 Sep;5(5):149-54.
  • Redwood D, Provost E, Perdue D, Haverkamp D, Espey D. The last frontier: Innovative efforts to reduce colorectal cancer disparities among remote Alaska Native populations. Gastrointestinal Endoscopy March 2012;75(3):474-480.
  • Redwood D, Holman L, Zandman-Zeman S, Hunt T, Besh L, Katinszky W. Collaboration to increase colorectal cancer screening among low-income uninsured patients. Preventing Chronic Disease 2011;8(3). Accessed [4/8/11].
  • Seeff, LC, Major A, Townsend JS, Provost E, Redwood D, Espey E, Dwyer D, Villaneuva R, Larsen L, Rowley K, Banning L., Comprehensive Cancer Control Programs and Coalitions: Partnering to Launch Successful Colorectal Cancer Screening Initiatives. Cancer, Causes, and Control 2010;21(12):2023-31.,
  • Redwood D, Joseph DJ, Christensen C, Provost E, Peterson VL, Espey D, Sacco F. Development of a flexible sigmoidoscopy training program for rural nurse practitioners to increase colorectal cancer screening among Alaska Native people. J Healthcare Poor and Underserved 2009; 20:1041-1048.

Contact Us   top

We welcome your feedback. To order program materials, enter the quantity for the options below.

I Got Screened Rack Card Graphic

The Cancer I Can Prevent Campaign

what's the big deal DVD cover

What's the Big Deal
Movie DVD

awakening choices campaign materials graphic

Awakening Choices

screening options card graphic

Screening Options
Information Card

Colorectal Cancer Control Program Brochure

CRC Rack

Busy People poster graphic

Busy People

Help yourself to health brochure graphic

Help Yourself
To Health

Nolon the Colon Sticker graphic

Nolan the Colon