Friday, May 24, 2024

Hispanics Lack Access to Colon Cancer Screening

According to the journal Cancer, colorectal cancer screening tests such as colonoscopies are more difficult to find in areas of the U.S. with large Hispanic populations.

A group led by Dr. Jennifer Haas of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston analyzed statistics on colorectal screening taken from a national health survey, medicare data and a cancer monitoring program.

The findings could help explain why Hispanics are less likely to get screened than non-Hispanic whites. The researchers found that Hispanics typically lived in counties with less access to the screening tests and residents were more likely to be screened if the tests were more available in their regions.

The authors of the study said that the findings suggest “that interventions designed to reduce disparities in the use of colorectal cancer screening or stage at diagnosis should consider not only improving local capacity for screening but also address other characteristics of the areas that may limit the dissemination of information about the importance of colorectal cancer screening.”

An estimated one in 19 people will develop colorectal cancer in their lives; thus demonstrating the importance of screenings for the disease.  The study shows that the harder it is for someone to access a screening center, the less likely it is that they will get the proper screening.

The results of the study indicate that there is an immediate need to assess the locations of colorectal screening and bring them to counties with higher levels of Hispanic populations to give them better access to the proper preventative treatments.

The US Preventative Services Task Force recommends screening for colon cancer to start at the age of 50.

CNM News Network