-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, Jan. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Minority patients in the
United States are less likely than whites to be screened for
colorectal cancer, a new study finds.
Researchers analyzed national data from between 2000 and 2005
and found that 42 percent of whites were screened for colorectal
cancer, compared with 36 percent of blacks, 31 percent of Asians
and Native Americans and 28 percent of Hispanics.
Although it is widely believed that lack of access and money are
the main barriers to getting screenings, this study found that
other factors play a role in the lower screening rates for minority
These factors include transportation issues, difficulty getting
paid time off from work and low levels of health literacy, which is
the ability to read, understand and use health information.
High levels of fatalism -- the view that getting a disease is a
matter of luck or fate -- and low levels of health literacy among
low-income Hispanics may play a strong role in whether they seek
out colorectal cancer screening, according to the study, which was
published in the December 2012 issue of the journal
"Racial and ethnic minorities have unique challenges navigating the health care system, in some cases because they are immigrants and there are language issues, or they live in areas with high levels of uninsurance or ... few gastroenterologists," study author Jim Stimpson, director of the Center for Health Policy at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, said in a center news release.
Stimpson outlined some possible solutions, including:
"Colorectal cancer screening saves lives," Stimpson said. "We need to increase the number of people who get this screening, and especially focus on solutions that reduce the disparity in screening for racial or ethnic minorities."
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about
colorectal cancer screening.
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