Follow-up Lack May Cause Black Cancer Gap

BETHESDA, Md., April 8 (UPI) — U.S. researchers say blacks and whites are equally likely to need follow-up after colorectal screening, but blacks are less likely to get follow-up.

“Our research suggests that the biology of colorectal cancer may not differ by race, at least in the early stages of tumor development,” study author Dr. Adeyinka O. Laiyemo of the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, says in a statement. “Instead, healthcare utilization differences among races may play a more important role in colorectal cancer disparities.”


In the United States, African-Americans have higher colorectal cancer incidence and mortality rates compared to whites, Laiyemo says.

In the study, 57,561 whites and 3,011 blacks were screened for colorectal cancer using flexible sigmoidoscopy and 23.9 percent of the white participants and 25.5 percent of the black participants had abnormal results.

The study found 72.4 percent of whites and 62.6 percent of blacks received a follow-up colonoscopy. However, the study also found black participants were more likely to have cancer in the upper part of the colon not viewed during a sigmoidoscopy.

The reasons African-Americans had lower follow-up rates are unknown, the researchers said.

The study is published online ahead of print of the April issue of the Journal of National Cancer Institute.

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