Tag Archives: disparities

Improved CRC screening results, challenges to reach Alaska Natives

Alaska Native Americans have a much higher rate of both colorectal cancer and resulting deaths than other populations—about twice those of the U.S. white population (age-adjusted) for the period of 2004 to 2008. They also have the highest rate of CRC cases of all Native American groups—nearly five times higher than American Indians living in the Southwest, for example. The reasons? Unknown. But health officials do know that improved screening can prevent CRC, and earlier CRC detection saves lives. And in fact, statewide screening rates among Alaskan Natives improved from 29 percent in 2000, to 41 percent in 2005.

Can We Fix Racial Gaps in Colorectal Cancer Death Rates?

Before 1980, colorectal cancer death rates were actually higher for whites than African Americans. But, as rates began falling in the 1980′s for both blacks and white patients, decreases for whites were substantially greater than those for blacks.  Between 1985 and 2008, mortality rates for whites with colorectal cancer fell 40 percent, while black rates declined by less than 20 percent. The decrease in black death rates was higher than those for whites at every stage at diagnosis, but strikingly different when cancer had spread to distant sites.   For whites whose colon or rectal cancer was first found at stage IV, death rates fell by more than 30 percent, while

Screening Rates Go Down for American Indians and Alaska Natives

Colorectal cancer screening rates for colorectal cancer improved between 2000 and 2008 for white, black and Asian-Americans aged 50 and over—but barely improved for Hispanics and actually worsed for American Indians and Alaska Natives. The latest statistics, just reported by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality on March 23, found that: In 2008, among adults aged 50 or over, about 60 percent of whites reported ever having been screened (up from 51 percent in 2000); About 55 percent of blacks and Asian Americans had been screened at least once (compared to 44 percent in 2000); In the same age group, only 44 percent of Hispanics reported ever having

Screening Rates Creep Up . . . But Leave Many Behind

Overall, colorectal cancer screening rates were higher in 2008 than in 2006. By 2008 almost 2 of every 3 Americans over the age of 50 had either had a fecal occult blood test in the past year or sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy within the past ten years. Health insurance made a huge different with two-thirds (66.6 percent) of people with insurance up-to-date with screening compared to about one-third (37.5 percent) of those without health insurance.

21st Century Challenges to Curing Colorectal Cancer

How many more lives could we save if we simply delivered, consistently, the things that work? That was the challenge that Dr. Arthur Kellerman laid down to people attending the AACR Science of Cancer Health Disparities conference in Miami on September 30. Dr. Kellerman, an emergency room physician, told a sobering story of his patient Diane, who arrived in the emergency room in pain.  Asked to describe what hurt, she pointed to her right breast.  When her gown was lifted, doctors and nurses could see a huge cancer that had broken through her skin.  Uninsured, she had tried to treat it with over-the-counter salves. She died two months later. He

Uninsured with Rectal Cancer are More Likely to Die

Insurance makes a difference for people with rectal cancer. Rectal cancer patients without insurance or covered by Medicaid are almost twice as likely to die within five years as those privately insured. Not only are they diagnosed at a later stage, but fewer receive recommended treatments at every stage. More than half of the difference between patients with private insurance and those without was due to differences in how early they were diagnosed and whether or not they got standard treatment.

New Colorectal Cancer Cases Dropping in 2010

In 2010, experts predict that 4,400 fewer Americans will be diagnosed with colon and rectal cancer than in 2009. According to new American Cancer Society statistics for 2010, 142,570 people will hear the difficult words, “You have colorectal cancer”, down from 146,970 in 2009. Still, 51,370 families will get painful news when loved ones die from colorectal cancer. Continuing this year, African Americans are more likely to develop colorectal cancer than whites and other races, to die of it, and to have poorer survival at every stage of the disease.

Blacks Less Likely to Get Screening Follow-up

African Americans get more colorectal cancer than whites and die more often. Whether this is because of different biology or lack of access to high-quality medical care has long been debated. In a new study, blacks had very similar rates of polyps found during a screening flexible sigmoidoscopy.  But they were less likely to get a recommended follow-up colonoscopy. While about 1 in 4 people had polyps discovered during their sigmoidoscopy, nearly identical percentages for blacks and whites, blacks got colonoscopy follow-up about 12 percent less often than whites.

Colorectal Cancer News in Brief: November 16

Briefly: African Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer at later stages and have surgery less often which contributes to their poorer survival.  Women have a greater risk of a missed or early colorectal cancer after a negative colonoscopy. If you can’t have a loved one with you during a painful procedure, just looking at your partner’s picture may make it hurt less. The American Society for Radiation Oncology has a new website for patients, and open enrollment for Medicare plan coverage begins on November 15 and extends through the end of the year.

Colorectal Cancer News in Brief: August 31

Clinical features of colon tumors can predict survival, acupressure bands reduce nausea during radiation therapy, and there was no connection between the amount of fish a person ate and risk for colorectal cancer.  Although blacks have an increased risk for colon and breast cancer, hospitals matter.  All patients — white or black — did worse in hospitals that treated a majority of black patients. Surgical robots are being developed with a light touch that can tell the difference between normal and tumor tissue.