Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New way of expanding cancer screening for minority women

Date:
October 25, 2010
Source:
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Summary:
A team of health-care professionals has identified an efficient way to increase minority access to lifesaving colorectal cancer screening (CRCS) in communities where multiple barriers to preventive care exist.

Minority patients have a significantly decreased survival from colon cancer compared to white patients, most often as a result of a late diagnosis. To help address this problem, a team of healthcare professionals at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has identified an efficient way to increase minority access to lifesaving colorectal cancer screening (CRCS) in communities where multiple barriers to preventive care exist. In the November 8 issue of the journal Cancer, the group reports how women living in Harlem were introduced to CRCS during their routine mammography screening.

"We hypothesized that mammography centers, similar to the one where this study took place, offer a unique opportunity to introduce the concept of colon cancer screening, because the women being tested are most likely already familiar with the concept of cancer screening," explained Moshe Shike, MD, an attending physician at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the study's lead author. "Unfortunately, minorities in this community often have a late diagnosis and subsequent poor outcome from colon cancer because they are not able to -- for one reason or another -- access the routine preventive care they need. However, minority women, including many living in Harlem, are taking advantage of mammography screening as a result of ongoing outreach and education efforts."

In Harlem, Manhattan's northernmost community, the survival rate for colorectal cancer -- the nation's second leading cause of cancer mortality -- is low. Research has identified several contributing factors to the late diagnosis and lack of screening in this community, including little or no medical insurance, language barriers, distrust of the medical community at large, and under-representation in the healthcare system. But as health reform moves forward, and a stronger emphasis is placed on preventive care, communities around the country will need to find ways to facilitate the screening process, as well as find ways to fund it, notes Dr. Shike.

The teams' study took place at the Breast Examination Center of Harlem (BECH) -- a community outreach program of Memorial Sloan-Kettering that offers free, high-quality care, including cervical and breast cancer screening to primarily African-American and Hispanic women. Women aged 50 years or older who had not undergone colon cancer screening in the past ten years were eligible to participate. (Eligibility was also based on patients not having serious illnesses such as heart or lung disease or uncontrolled diabetes.) Following the patients' mammography, eligible women met with bilingual staff to learn about the screening process and ascertain whether they were eligible to undergo colonoscopy. This process, Dr. Shike pointed out, can be effective and reduce costs because women can be referred, medically screened, and prepared without having to obtain a referral from another physician.

"We rode the coattails of an already successful, preexisting screening program model and showed that by introducing colon cancer screening at this time, we were able to facilitate the process and expand access," explained Dr. Shike. "This is important because many women coming to facilities like BECH have little or no health insurance, and many do not see a primary care physician regularly. We were able to remove the burden of having to obtain a referral, which in many cases leads to patients not getting the screening they need."

Of 2,616 eligible women, 611 patients initially gave their consent. Although fewer than 25 percent of those eligible joined the study, the researchers point out that the lack of involvement was not for lack of interest. "Only a small percentage cited a lack of interest for declining screening," noted Dr. Shike. "Once the eligible patients were sitting face-to-face with a healthcare provider, the majority of women were engaged in the discussion."

"Our colonoscopy findings in this study are similar to those in the general population, so offering colon cancer screening to underserved, minority women at the time of mammography, without a doctor's referral, is an effective way to expand screening," said Dr. Shike, who notes that alternatives to traditional medical insurance continue to be a barrier to access for the uninsured.

This study was supported by the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. "New way of expanding cancer screening for minority women." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101025005842.htm>.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. (2010, October 25). New way of expanding cancer screening for minority women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101025005842.htm
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. "New way of expanding cancer screening for minority women." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101025005842.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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