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Higher risk of GI diseases may mean more vigilance, earlier screenings for minorities
Date:10/29/2009

San Diego, CA (October 26, 2009) Three studies presented this week at the American College of Gastroenterology's 74th Annual Scientific meeting in San Diego underscore the growing disparities in gastrointestinal disease, particularly colon cancer and Barrett's Esophagus, among certain ethnic and gender populations, including African Americans, Latinos and women. These race- and gender-specific disparities underscore the need for education and vigilance among these populations and perhaps more aggressive screening tactics than the population in general.

Using data from more than 500,000 cases of colorectal cancer contained the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Registry, Dr. Robert Wong of California Pacific Medical Center, preformed a retrospective cohort study to analyze the race and gender- specific disparities in colorectal cancer epidemiology.

Dr. Wong's analysis indicates that from 1973 through 2004, there has been a shift of newly diagnosed cancers to the proximal, or right side colon among the population in general. Females, however, have the greatest proportion of proximal cancers and female Hispanics in particular, show the greatest gender disparity versus Hispanic males (47.7 percent vs 28.2 percent).

In addition, while advanced stage colorectal cancers showed a steady decline during the study period, African Americans have the greatest proportion of advanced cancers among all racial and ethnic group. In fact, between 2001 and 2004, a full quarter (25.2 percent) of all colorectal cancers found in black males were advanced-stage cancers, the highest proportion of any ethnic group.

"The significantly higher rates of proximal cancers among women and advanced cancers in the African American population is concerning," reports Dr. Wong. "While we still must consider whether environmental and genetic factors play a role in these disparities, potential gaps in access to health care r
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Contact: Jennifer Burke Labriola
burkepr@gmail.com
203-405-1479
American College of Gastroenterology
Source:Eurekalert

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