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

hat African Americans with a family history were less likely to have received risk-appropriate screening than those without a family history. Family history of colorectal cancer is often associated with increased rates of screening in whites.

The authors say it is difficult to explain why a perception of increased risk, which is significantly higher in African Americans with a family history of CRC than in those without, did not translate into screening. Their findings suggest that other unknown or unmeasured factors may play a role is screening decisions. Additional studies to determine what those factors might be could lead to culturally tailored interventions designed to increase screening rates, which in turn could ultimately improve early detection and reduce colorectal cancer deaths in African Americans. "This study suggests that African Americans would benefit from a primary care approach that evaluates their risk factors for colorectal cancer, and provides corresponding recommendations for appropriate screening tests," the authors write.

Regular colorectal cancer screening is one of the most powerful weapons in preventing colorectal cancer. It can, in many cases, prevent colorectal cancer altogether. Experts estimate adherence to national screening guidelines could prevent up to eight in ten deaths from the disease. The American Cancer Society recommends that people at average risk begin screening for colorectal cancer at age 50. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States, as well as the third leading cause of cancer-related death among both men and women in the United States.


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Contact: David Sampson
david.sampson@cancer.org
213-368-8523
American Cancer Society
Source:Eurekalert

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