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Racial and ethnic differences in colorectal cancer emphasize importance of screening
Date:10/15/2007

Philadelphia, PA, October 15, 2007 New research presented at the 72nd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology emphasizes the importance of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening among racial and ethnic minorities, who have a higher incidence of colorectal cancer compared to Caucasians. Two studies found more African-Americans had advanced polyps on the right side of the colon than Caucasians, while results from colonoscopy screenings of Latin Americans revealed similarly high risk findings to African-Americans.

African-Americans have a high overall incidence of colorectal cancer and a greater prevalence of proximal or right-sided polyps and cancerous lesions. The right side of the colon includes the cecum, ascending colon and proximal transverse colon and cannot be reached by flexible sigmoidoscopy.

The reasons for higher incidence rates in African-Americans are unclear; however, dietary, nutritional factors, rates of physical inactivity, variability in screening rates, lower use of diagnostic testing, and increasing smoking rates have been most commonly implicated.

Dr. Roy D. Yen and his colleagues from the University at Buffalo and the VA Western New York analyzed the results of 587 colonoscopies (78 African-Americans, 502 Caucasians) performed at their institution in 2004. The number and location of polyps and presence of advanced lesions between the two cohorts were examined. They found significantly more African-American patients (14 percent) had advanced right-sided, or proximal, polyps compared to Caucasian patients (5.4 percent). Researchers also found more black patients had advanced polyps, proximal polyps and proximal colon cancers than whites.

Based on the results of this study, Flexible sigmoidsocopy may be inadequate for colorectal cancer screening in this population. African Americans should undergo colonoscopy with particular attention for proximal lesions, however larger pr
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Contact: Rosanne Riesenman
mediaonly@acg.gi.org
301-263-9000
American College of Gastroenterology
Source:Eurekalert

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