U.S. minorities less likely to get colon cancer screening

U.S. minorities less likely to get colon cancer screening: study
Researcher says reasons include high cost, lower health literacy, lack of doctors.

(HealthDay)—Minority patients in the United States are less likely than whites to be screened for colorectal cancer, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed national data from between 2000 and 2005 and found that 42 percent of whites were screened for colorectal cancer, compared with 36 percent of blacks, 31 percent of Asians and Native Americans and 28 percent of Hispanics.

Although it is widely believed that lack of access and money are the main barriers to getting screenings, this study found that other factors play a role in the lower for .

These factors include transportation issues, difficulty getting paid time off from work and low levels of , which is the ability to read, understand and use health information.

High levels of fatalism—the view that getting a disease is a matter of luck or fate—and low levels of health literacy among low-income Hispanics may play a strong role in whether they seek out colorectal cancer screening, according to the study, which was published in the December 2012 issue of the journal Health Affairs.

"Racial and ethnic minorities have unique challenges navigating the health care system, in some cases because they are immigrants and there are language issues, or they live in areas with high levels of uninsurance or ... few gastroenterologists," study author Jim Stimpson, director of the Center for Health Policy at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, said in a center news release.

Stimpson outlined some possible solutions, including:

  • Identifying and providing incentives for doctors to perform colonoscopies in underserved areas, which could include paying doctors more.
  • Providing patients with transportation to clinics.
  • Training other to perform colonoscopies under the supervision of a gastroenterologist via telemedicine.
" saves lives," Stimpson said. "We need to increase the number of people who get this screening, and especially focus on solutions that reduce the disparity in screening for racial or ethnic minorities."

More information: The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about colorectal cancer screening.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Pepper and halt: Spicy chemical may inhibit gut tumors

9 hours ago

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that dietary capsaicin – the active ingredient in chili peppers – produces chronic activation of a receptor on cells lining ...

Expressive writing may help breast cancer survivors

11 hours ago

Writing down fears, emotions and the benefits of a cancer diagnosis may improve health outcomes for Asian-American breast cancer survivors, according to a study conducted by a researcher at the University of Houston (UH).

Taking the guesswork out of cancer therapy

16 hours ago

Researchers and doctors at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN), Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) have co-developed the first molecular test ...

Brain tumour cells found circulating in blood

17 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—German scientists have discovered rogue brain tumour cells in patient blood samples, challenging the idea that this type of cancer doesn't generally spread beyond the brain.

International charge on new radiation treatment for cancer

18 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—Imagine a targeted radiation therapy for cancer that could pinpoint and blast away tumors more effectively than traditional methods, with fewer side effects and less damage to surrounding tissues and organs.

User comments