Navigation Links
Gaps in colorectal cancer screening persist between whites and non-whites

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) Colorectal cancer screening among patients with Medicare coverage is increasing, but a persistent gap remains between whites who are screened most frequently and all other racial and ethnic groups, according to a new study by researchers at UC Davis and the University of Washington. The study also showed that the biggest gap is between whites and Hispanics.

Because Medicare covers all available colorectal cancer screening procedures, the research suggests that obstacles other than insurance coverage are responsible for these disparities.

"We need more information about the barriers that different populations encounter when it comes to screening for colon cancer," said Joshua Fenton, lead author of the study, which will appear in the March issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. "The issue clearly is not lack of access to health insurance. Socioeconomic, cultural and language barriers are all possibilities, but understanding which of these barriers is relevant for which group is essential to narrowing the gaps."

Fenton, a UC Davis assistant professor of family and community medicine, and his colleagues focused their analysis on a representative sample of nearly half a million patients aged 70 to 79 from four racial and ethnic groups: whites, blacks, Asians/Pacific Islanders and Hispanics. The data were compiled from a National Cancer Institute database that links Medicare claims with clinical information on cancer patients throughout the United States.

The researchers found that the percentage of patients with up-to-date colorectal cancer screenings rose for all groups from 1995 to 2003: from 39 percent to 47 percent for whites; 33 percent to 42 percent for Asians and Pacific Islanders; 29 percent to 38 percent for blacks; and 24 percent to 33 percent for Hispanics. Medicare initiated coverage for colorectal cancer screening in 1998. Nevertheless, the gaps between whites and other racial and ethnic groups have not narrowed.

Colorectal cancer struck an estimated 148,810 Americans in 2008 and killed 49,960. By detecting and removing precancerous polyps, screening can prevent colorectal cancer. The persistence of racial and ethnic disparities in screening points to the need for new research to elucidate why the disparities continue.

"Are white patients more likely to receive a doctor's recommendation than non-white patients? Are cultural or language barriers a major issue for patients in some communities? Do some patients have a harder time getting to the specialists who perform colonoscopy examinations? We need answers to questions like these in order to narrow racial and ethnic disparities in screening," Fenton said.

Fenton added that the study indicates the need for more outreach to encourage screening overall.

"Even though screening rates are increasing, they are not high enough - even among whites," he said. "Health systems need to make sure that doctors recommend screening and help patients follow through with recommended tests."


Contact: Karen Finney
University of California - Davis - Health System

Related medicine news :

1. Direct Anesthetic Infusion Helps Colorectal Cancer Patients
2. The fight against colorectal cancer
3. Simple, personalized interventions improve colorectal cancer screening rates
4. Studies lend insights into colorectal cancer screening
5. Virtual colonoscopy -- a new technology for colorectal cancer screening?
6. Frequently Asked Questions When Considering a Colorectal Cancer Screening Test, From the American College of Gastroenterology
7. 18F-DG PET/CT can highly increase the detection of colorectal cancer
8. Colorectal cancer screening remains essential for elderly Americans
9. Racial and ethnic differences in colorectal cancer emphasize importance of screening
10. ASGE Applauds News of Drop in Colorectal Cancer Deaths
11. Society of Gynecologic Oncologists Provides Guidelines for Offering Genetic Risk Assessment to Women With a Personal or Family History of Breast, Ovarian, Uterine or Colorectal Cancer
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Until now, the St. Louis ... the MOMS (Management of Myelomeningocele Study) trial. One of these exclusion criteria was a ... BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered normal, 25 - 29.9 is overweight and ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... . The directory is specialized and only includes chiropractic clinics in the US. ... competent and trustworthy alternative health practitioner when back pain sets in. When people ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Creek, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... MI, the American Cancer Society held an annual fundraising event, a 5K walk known ... a holistic treatment center for substance abuse which is also located in Battle Creek, ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... a University of Delaware Accounting and Management of Information Systems course. Based in ... mid-market businesses. Sommer will speak at before student in the Enterprise Resource Planning ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Baltimore, MD (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... has teamed up with Public Television’s Travel With Kids to promote ... follows the Simmons family as they explore international destinations and educate families about the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015  The ... norm in U.S. medical imaging is on ... popular accountable care payer-provider contracts are set ... in their wake, alter provider-vendor relationships. The ... will push forward new purchasing frameworks in ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015 Cumberland Pharmaceuticals (CPIX), ... present live at on December 3, 2015. ... TIME: 3:15p.m. ET LINK: ... LINK: --> ... event where investors are invited to ask the company questions ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Nov. 30, 2015 Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR ... educational partnership with Apollo Hospitals Group, the largest hospital chain in ... help train radiation technologists in the country. The MoU was signed ... Knowledge, and Ashok Kakkar , Varian,s India ... India , Varian intends to deploy its Access ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: