Despite being one of the more preventable forms of cancer known, a new study conducted in the Center for Health Policy at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health has determined that racial and ethnic minorities are still dangerously at risk for colon cancer. The reason, they say, minorities are less likely to be screened.
In their study, which was published in the December issue of the public health journal, Health Affairs, researchers found that 42 percent of Caucasians were screened for colorectal cancer, compared to 36 percent of African Americans, 31 percent of Asian and Native Americans and 28 percent of Hispanics.
"Colorectal cancer screening saves lives,” said study author Jim Stimpson, director of the Center for Health Policy at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health. “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."
Last month, 57-year-old Terry Glover, the managing editor of Ebony magazine, lost her battle with the disease, joining the more than 50,000 Americans projected to die from the disease last year.
Contrary to previous beliefs that lack of access and money are the primary barriers to getting screened, Stimpson and his team found that transportation barriers, paid time off from work and health literacy were largely to blame.
Here's a look at one other barrier to screening -- stimga -- and five myths about colonoscopies that experts at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority say simply aren't true.