Fewer Minorities Getting Screened for Colorectal Cancer

Jan 29, 2013

Fewer minorities are getting colorectal cancer screenings, according to a new study conducted in the Center for Health Policy at UNMC.

Dr. Jim Stimpson, Director of the UNMC’s Center for Health Policy, conducted the study. 

He says the study linked data obtained from a national health interview survey with county-level information that characterized communities. 

Factors that were considered included the number of gastroenterologists in a particular community, as well as the number of uninsured individuals. 

Dr. Stimpson says the results of the study sufficiently explained the difference between screenings of whites and African Americans, but not the difference between whites and Hispanics.

"There’s some other evidence to suggest that there may be other barriers that may lower screening rates for Hispanics such as fear of medical encounters, stigma of colon cancer screening, low levels of health literacy or even perhaps lack of paid leave from work.”

Some of Dr. Stimpson’s suggested solutions include identifying incentives for health care providers to perform endoscopies in underserved areas, and facilitating screenings by transporting patients to clinics.