Document Type

Master's Culminating Experience

Publication Date



In the United States colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common malignancies, and is the third leading cause of cancer deaths (Sharma & O’Keefe, 2007). Approximately 270,000 cases of colorectal cancer were diagnosed in 2008 with 81,900 cases resulting in death. There were 16,520 cases diagnosed in African Americans and 7,120 resulted in death or significant illness (American Cancer Society, 2008). Mortality as the result of CRC is greater among the African American population with 27% and 38% higher death rates for African American males and females when compared with Caucasian males and females (Agarwal, 2005). CRC is characterized by the abnormal growth of cells and tissues in the large intestine, rectum and anus. The symptoms of CRC are often associated with other diseases or illnesses. Therefore, routine screenings are necessary for disease prevention and early detection.