Principal Investigator

Charles R. Rogers, PhD, MPH, MS, MCHES®


Research Team Members

Ellen Brooks, University of Utah
Karen Curtin, PhD, University of Utah
Mary A. De Vera, PhD, The University of British Columbia
Phuong Ly-Gallagher, The Colon Club
Margaret A. Handley, PhD, UC San Francisco
Candace Henley, MPH, The Blue Hat Foundation
Walter Hickman, Fight Colorectal Cancer
Wenora Johnson, MPA, Fight Colorectal Cancer
Kevin M. Korous, PhD, University of Utah
Elaine Newcomb, Fight Colorectal Cancer
Curt Pesmen, BoCo Media
Tiana N. Rogers, PhD, University of Utah
Fa Tuuhetaufa, University of Utah



DAPD; Todd Lucas, PhD, Michigan State University; Justin X. Moore, PhD, Augusta University; Ethan Petersen, University of Utah; Fares Qeadan, PhD, Loyola University


Funding Period



Funding Agencies

The V Foundation for Cancer Research; National Cancer Institute (K01CA234319); University of Utah School of Medicine; 5 For the Fight



Colorectal cancer (CRC) is preventable when detected early. Because of effective screening, fewer Americans aged 50 and older are now being diagnosed with CRC or dying from it. Over the past 20 years, however, the number of Americans under age 50 who are diagnosed with CRC has doubled. Health experts estimate that the numbers of younger Americans with CRC will continue to increase rapidly over the next 10 years. The reasons for this increase are poorly understood. In addition, younger people are less likely to be diagnosed with CRC when the disease is still at an early stage. Also, of concern is that among men and women of all ages and all races, African-American men are the most likely to die of CRC.

The goal of this study is to better understand the reasons why people under age 50 in Utah are being diagnosed with CRC. As a first step, the researchers plan to identify the specific places in Utah where diagnoses of CRC among younger people are increasing the most. Next, they plan to conduct 1-hour recorded Zoom interviews over phone and/or video with 20 people who live in these places and were diagnosed with CRC when they were under age 50. Thirdly, the researchers plan to create and test a program that will raise Utahns’ awareness of the increasing risk of CRC among residents of the state who are aged under 50. This study is unique as CRC survivors are key to helping drive the study forward.

Overview c/o the PI and the V Foundation


Selected Publications and Presentations

Rogers, C. R., Brooks, E., Curtin, K., De Vera, M. A., Qeadan, F., Rogers, T. N., Petersen, E., Gallagher, P., Pesmen, C., Johnson, W., Henley, C., Hickman, W., Newcomb, E., Korous, K. M., & Handley, M. A. (2021). Protocol for #iBeatCRC: a community-based intervention to increase early-onset colorectal cancer awareness using a sequential explanatory mixed-methods approach. BMJ open, 11(12), e048959.