Minorities Less Likely To Be Screened for Colon Cancer, Study Finds
Blacks, Hispanics and Asian-Americans are less likely to be screened for colon cancer than whites, according to a study published on Monday in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. For the report, researchers from the University of California- Davis School of Medicine analyzed data from two national surveys, which included information on 22,973 adults over age 49.
Researchers found that 48% of blacks, 37% of Hispanics and 34% of Asian-Americans had received a colonoscopy or underwent diagnostic testing for colon cancer, compared with 57% of whites. The disparities between whites, blacks and Hispanics disappeared after adjusting for socioeconomic factors, such as access to health care and language barriers. Researchers said the reason for the finding remains unknown.
Still, even after the adjustments, Asian-Americans were less likely than others to be screened, which could mean that cultural factors are behind the lower rates, the study found. The study notes that Asian-Americans might have "core health beliefs and values that differ from those in the 'Western' health model, leading them to" forgo screenings until symptoms worsen (McCullough, Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/24).
An abstract of the study is available online.