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Obesity and cancer screening: Do race and gender also play a role?
Date:1/9/2012

seems to remain across race/ethnicity differences.

"This could be explained by differences in access and utilization of health care; as weight increases so do other comorbid conditions, making heavier men higher users of health care and perhaps more encouraged to be tested by their health care provider," said Richard Wender, MD, professor at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and chair of Family and Community Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, an author on the study.

A review of breast cancer screening research showed no correlation between weight and mammography use in women. In the three studies examined that stratified the obesity-screening relationship according to race, one study showed obesity corresponded with a decreased use of mammography in white women and increased use in their black counterparts. Two of the three studies found a positive association between obesity and mammography use in black women, while one study showed no effect.

Similarly, higher weight women, according to the team's analysis, were less likely to be screened for colorectal cancer (CRC), though the data made no reference to disparities in screening levels between races; research showed inconsistencies in the association between obesity and CRC screening in men. The studies available on CRC screening looked at a variety of testing options, making direct comparison difficult. On the whole, research showed that endoscopy, not fecal occult blood test (FOBT), was more likely influenced by weight status, specifically in women. Researchers surmise that this could be related to the fact that endoscopy is more invasive and therefore more difficult on obese patients relative to other screening tests.

CONCLUSIONS

Cultural differences among men, women, blacks and whites as well as socioeconomic factors such as insurance status and access to health care, which can be confounded with race/ethnicity and
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Contact: Lee-Ann Landis
leeann.landis@jefferson.edu
215-955-2240
Thomas Jefferson University
Source:Eurekalert

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