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High-Risk Blacks Less Likely to Get Colonoscopies
Date:3/25/2008

Medicine.

In the study, Murff's group collected data on 41,830 people aged 40 to 79. Among these, 32,265 were black and 9,565 were white. The researchers specifically looked at how these patients were screened for colon cancer.

There were 538 blacks who reported having close relatives diagnosed with colon cancer, compared with 255 whites. Among blacks, 27.3 percent reported having a colonoscopy within the past five years, compared with 43.1 percent of whites.

The main reason for not having a colonoscopy among both blacks and whites was that their doctor had not recommended one. Among blacks, 59.3 percent said their doctor had not recommended a colonoscopy, compared with 51 percent of whites.

Doctors need to be sure that they get a complete family medical history, Murff said. "In addition, it is important for patients to know what your family history is, and if you have questions related to your family history or if you are concerned that it might impact your risk of disease, it is important to talk to your physician about it," he said.

More information

For more on disparities in cancer care visit the U.S. National Cancer Institute.



SOURCES: Harvey J. Murff, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor, medicine, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.; March 24, 2008, Archives of Internal Medicine


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