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Hispanics live in areas with limited capacity for colorectal cancer screening
Date:4/11/2010

A new study finds that Hispanics live in areas with more limited availability of colonoscopies and sigmoidoscopies for colorectal cancer screening. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study indicates that differences in areas' capacity for providing these procedures may explain why Hispanics are less likely to undergo colorectal cancer screening than non-Hispanic whites. Increasing screening may require efforts to improve the availability of endoscopy in areas with a high ethnic minority population.

Studies have consistently shown that African Americans and Hispanics are less likely than whites to undergo screening for colorectal cancer. While there are several potential reasons for these disparities, one possibility is that areas where African Americans and Hispanics live may have a more limited availability of endoscopies.

Jennifer Haas, MD, MSPH, of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston and colleagues examined whether capacity for providing endoscopies in an area where an individual resides is associated with the use of colorectal cancer screening and the stage or extent of patients' disease at diagnosis. The investigators analyzed data on the use of colorectal cancer screening from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) as well as data on colorectal cancer stage from both the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program and Medicare. (NHIS is a nationally representative household survey that collects information about individuals' demographic characteristics, chronic health conditions, health insurance, and health behaviors. SEER compiles incidence and survival data from population-based cancer registries in the United States.) Measurements of counties' capacity for providing endoscopies were derived from Medicare claims.

The investigators' analysis revealed that Hispanics lived in counties with less capacity for providi
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Contact: Claire Greenwell
claire.greenwell@cancer.org
404-417-5883
American Cancer Society
Source:Eurekalert

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