Hispanic Areas: Limited Colon Screening

BOSTON, April 13 (UPI) — U.S. researchers say Hispanics live in areas with limited availability of colorectal cancer screening.

Researchers, led by Dr. Jennifer Haas of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, found Hispanics age 50 and older lived in counties with less capacity for providing endoscopies at 1,224 per 100,000, while 1,569 per 100,000 of African-Americans were screened and 1,628 per 100,000 of whites were screened for colorectal cancer.

The study, published in the journal Cancer, also found those living in counties with less capacity for providing endoscopies were marginally less likely to be diagnosed at an early stage of disease. However, adjusting for an area’s characteristics resulted in diminished disparities in cancer stage for Hispanics compared with whites but not for African-Americans.

Haas and colleagues looked at colorectal cancer screening use based on the National Health Interview Survey. Data on colorectal cancer stage at diagnosis came from both the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program and Medicare.

The researchers concluded interventions to reduce cancer-screening disparities should not only consider local capacity for screening, but should also address other characteristics of the areas that may limit the dissemination of information about the importance of colorectal cancer screening.

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