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Northern California Cancer Center Study Seeks to Improve Colon Cancer Screening in Vietnamese Communities
Date:3/18/2009

Work tailors screening interventions to Vietnamese populations

FREMONT, Calif., March 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Northern California Cancer Center (NCCC) -- www.nccc.org -- is conducting a first-of-its-kind study of interventions to improve colon cancer screening rates among Vietnamese Americans, who have lower rates compared to non-Hispanic whites. NCCC Scientist Bang Nguyen, Dr.P.H. is leading the study that involves developing and distributing culturally and linguistically competent educational materials to Vietnamese Americans and health providers.

While colon cancer ranks as the fourth most common cancer in the United States and the third most common for Vietnamese men and women, the disease is largely preventable since screenings can find polyps early before they become cancerous.

"Colon cancer can be prevented or, if caught early, is curable and screenings are critical to both," said Dr. Nguyen. "Improving screening rates in a population that's under-utilizing this important tool could save lives and lower medical costs."

The intervention work consists of developing and distributing customized screening booklets, DVDs, patient counseling materials, and health provider newsletters; providing continuing medical education seminars; and producing newspaper, radio, and television advertisements. Materials have run in Vietnamese-targeted media in Alameda and Santa Clara counties with estimates of 115,039 and 26,806 Vietnamese people, respectively.

"Since many people don't have the tools to prevent cancer due to lack of awareness, knowledge or access to resources, our work in testing interventions may be the only source of colon cancer prevention information for some people," said Dr. Nguyen.

Dr. Nguyen, whose mother died of colon cancer when he was two, has been a colon cancer public health researcher at the NCCC for the past 10 years. He says if the interventions in this study are effective, they can be used in other health promotion programs throughout the United States to increase colon cancer screening rates among Vietnamese and other racial and ethnic groups.

About the Northern California Cancer Center:

The Northern California Cancer Center is the only center in the country dedicated solely to cancer prevention research. Its community programs improve the quality of life for individuals living with cancer. As an independent 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization with a $14 million operating budget, the Northern California Cancer Center has been researching who gets cancer and why since 1974.


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SOURCE Northern California Cancer Center
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