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Family history and screening for colorectal cancer
Date:6/8/2008

A new study indicates that African Americans with a family history of colorectal cancer are less likely to be screened than African Americans at average risk for the disease. There is also some evidence to indicate that AA with a family history are less likely to be screened than their white counterparts. The study is published in the July 15, 2008 issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

African Americans have the highest colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence and death rates of all racial groups in the United States. The reason for this is thought to be multifactorial but remains poorly understood. Overall, African Americans have low rates of colorectal cancer screening compared to most other racial groups. Early detection is especially important for those with family histories of CRC who are at higher risk of developing the disease. Factors associated with CRC screening are not well understood for African Americans, both those with and without family histories of CRC.

To investigate the factors associated with risk-appropriate CRC screening, Kathleen Griffith, Ph.D., CRNP, of the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and colleagues at the University of Maryland Baltimore analyzed data from the 2002 Maryland Cancer Survey, a telephone survey of more than 5,000 Maryland residents, performed under the Maryland Cigarette Restitution Fund Program, to identify predictors of screening among African Americans.

The researchers' analyses revealed that for African Americans, regardless of family history, a health care provider's recommendation for colorectal cancer screening was strongly correlated with a higher likelihood of screening. Furthermore, individuals who were more physically active were also more likely to have been screened for colorectal cancer. Surprisingly, though, having a family history of colorectal cancer did not predict a higher likelihood of screening. In fact, the researchers found t
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Contact: David Sampson
david.sampson@cancer.org
213-368-8523
American Cancer Society
Source:Eurekalert

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