Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Even In A Safety Net Health System, Colorectal Cancer Screening Disparities Remain

Date:
September 8, 2009
Source:
American Association for Cancer Research
Summary:
Colorectal cancer screening rates are much lower among those in a safety net health system compared to the national average, and the number one predictor of screening is a combination of regular visits and insurance access. However, results of a recent study showed that the screening rate was merely 22 percent among individuals served by a safety net health system in Texas.

Colorectal cancer screening rates are much lower among those in a safety net health system compared to the national average, and the number one predictor of screening is a combination of regular visits and insurance access.

Related Articles


Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States behind lung cancer. Nearly 50,000 Americans will die from colorectal cancer this year. Although scientists have differing opinions on the best method, the benefits of early screening are beyond debate — cancers caught early are easier to manage and treat.

Still, the nationwide rate of colorectal cancer screening is 61 percent, with much of the lack of screening concentrated among blacks, Hispanics and those without insurance. However, results of a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, showed that the screening rate was merely 22 percent among individuals served by a safety net health system in Texas.

"Of our patients who did get screened, they either had insurance or saw their doctor regularly. Once you controlled for those variables, the screening rate was essentially zero," said Samir Gupta, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Gupta and colleagues conducted their study using data from the Tarrant County Hospital District John Peter Smith Hospital Health Network, a safety net health system. The system serves 155,000 individuals a year in Tarrant County, Texas, a geographic area that includes Fort Worth, and is committed to delivering health care to the uninsured, Medicaid and other vulnerable patients.

Using their electronic administrative records, Gupta and colleagues identified 20,416 patients who were between 54 and 75 years old and were eligible for colorectal cancer screening. The median age of these patients was 60 years, and about 60 percent of them were women. Approximately 15 percent of the population lived below the poverty line and median household income was $35,419. The majority of the patients were either black or Hispanic; nearly 20 percent reported a primary language other than English.

Although 40 percent were classified as having health insurance, including those on Medicare and Medicaid, another 40 percent only had medical coverage through their connection to the safety net system; 20 percent had no insurance at all.

Over the previous five years, 22 percent of these patients were screened for colorectal cancer. Women were slightly more likely than men, and Hispanics were slightly more likely to be screened than whites, but the largest increase came when insurance and regular medical care were considered. Those with insurance were almost three times as likely to be screened, and those who saw the doctor regularly were nearly four times as likely to be screened.

Karen Glanz, Ph.D., M.P.H., professor of medicine and nursing at the University of Pennsylvania and an editorial board member of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, said this study documents an important issue in a specific population.

"The idea that colorectal cancer screening rates are too low is not a new idea, but this is one of the first to document it in a specific population," said Glanz. "Access to care clearly has consequences, and any talk of health care reform needs to address proven prevention measures like screening."

Gupta said a national model already exists for successful screening. Low income, uninsured and underserved women can get breast and cervical cancer screening through the Centers for Disease Control's National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, but Gupta said such an approach is far too disease-specific.

"Theoretically, the same model could be applied to colorectal cancer, but do we want to keep passing legislation for programs that target specific types of cancer, or could we provide more broad access to health care so we can make a serious and coordinated effort at prevention?" said Gupta. "That's the question that needs answering."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Association for Cancer Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Association for Cancer Research. "Even In A Safety Net Health System, Colorectal Cancer Screening Disparities Remain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090908023644.htm>.
American Association for Cancer Research. (2009, September 8). Even In A Safety Net Health System, Colorectal Cancer Screening Disparities Remain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090908023644.htm
American Association for Cancer Research. "Even In A Safety Net Health System, Colorectal Cancer Screening Disparities Remain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090908023644.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins