Welcome!

News Feed Item

Colorectal Cancer Screening for African Americans: It's about Prevention, Not Just Detection

By the National Cancer Institute

BETHESDA, Md., April 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- If a screening test could not only catch cancer early but also help to prevent it, could you think of any reason not to have the test?

Lifelines - from the National Cancer Institute.

All widely used cancer screening tests aim to detect cancer early, when treatment may be more successful. But several screening tests can also help find abnormal cells that have not yet become cancer, allowing them to be removed before they can cause problems. Colorectal cancer screening tests, for example, can help detect pre-cancerous growths called polyps. Removing these polyps prevents them from becoming cancer.

Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in both African American men and women. More than 18,000 new cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed in African Americans annually. And although colorectal cancer rates overall are declining in the United States, the rates for African Americans are decreasing more slowly than the rates for white Americans. African Americans are also more likely to be diagnosed when colorectal cancer is advanced and, therefore, less treatable.

Between 2002 and 2008, the likelihood of surviving 5 years after a diagnosis of colorectal cancer was only 57 percent for African Americans, compared with 65 percent for white Americans. The difference between African Americans and whites in colorectal cancer survival rates has actually widened over the years. For example, the American Cancer Society recently reported that, for patients with advanced colorectal cancer, 5-year survival rates among African Americans rose from 8.6 percent in 1992-1997 to just 9.8 percent in 2004-2009, whereas among whites they rose from 9.8 percent in 1992-1997 to 15.7 percent in 2004-2009.

Although many factors underlie these disparities, an important one is that African Americans are less likely to be screened for colorectal cancer than whites. For example, in 2010, only 56 percent of African American men and women over the age of 50 had been recently screened for colorectal cancer, compared with 62 percent of white Americans.

A large 2005 survey carried out by the National Cancer Institute, called the Health Information National Trends Survey, found that many African Americans do not know that, when colorectal cancer is caught early, survival rates are good. In fact, surgery can cure about 90 percent of people with early-stage colorectal cancer.

Several effective options for colorectal cancer screening exist, which means that you can find a test that fits your risk, your concerns, and your comfort level. Knowing your options can make it easier for you to ask your doctor for more information.

Colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy: For these tests, a doctor uses a flexible lighted instrument to physically check the colon and remove any abnormal growths.

Colonoscopy checks the rectum and the entire colon. Your doctor will give you special laxative medications to take before colonoscopy to clean out your colon. You will generally have sedation (you will be given medications to make you sleep or be very relaxed during the procedure) for a colonoscopy. Current guidelines recommend that people at average risk of colorectal cancer have a colonoscopy every 10 years.

Sigmoidoscopy checks the rectum and the lower half of the colon (the sigmoid colon). The lower colon must be cleansed before sigmoidoscopy, but the preparation is less involved than that for colonoscopy. With sigmoidoscopy, you will usually not need sedation. Current guidelines recommend that people at average risk of colorectal cancer have a sigmoidoscopy every 5 years (with fecal occult blood tests every 3 years).

Fecal occult blood test/fecal immunochemical test (FOBT/FIT), also known as a stool test: For this test, your doctor gives you a kit to use at home to take one or more samples of stool. The samples are sent to the doctor's office or lab to be tested for traces of blood. Some people prefer the stool test because it is done in private, is inexpensive, doesn't require taking laxatives, and is simple to perform. Current guidelines recommend that people who choose FOBT/FIT screening have the test every year.

Most guidelines recommend that people at average risk of colorectal cancer begin screening at age 50 and continue until age 75. If you are over 50 and have never been screened for colorectal cancer, talk with your healthcare provider about which colorectal cancer screening test is right for you. You can also ask about lifestyle changes that may reduce your risk of the disease. If someone in your family has had colorectal polyps or cancer, you may need to start screening before age 50. Again, your healthcare provider is the place to start.

Not having health insurance can keep people from getting screened. If you are uninsured or underinsured, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a program in 25 states that provides colorectal cancer screening services to low-income men and women aged 50–64 years. More information on this program can be found at cdc.gov/cancer/crccp. Under the Affordable Care Act, all Marketplace plans and many other plans must cover colorectal cancer screening for people over age 50 without charging a copayment or coinsurance.

To learn more about colorectal cancer, visit the National Cancer Institute (NCI) website at www.cancer.gov (search term: colorectal) or call 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237). You can also visit NCI's new educational website on colorectal cancer screening, gutcheck.cancer.gov, or CDC's Screen for Life: National Colorectal Cancer Action Campaign (http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/sfl/).

NCI leads the National Cancer Program and the NIH effort to dramatically reduce the burden of cancer and improve the lives of cancer patients and their families, through research into prevention and cancer biology, the development of new interventions, and the training and mentoring of new researchers. For more information about cancer, please visit the NCI web site at www.cancer.gov (or m.cancer.gov from your mobile device) or call NCI's Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237). More articles and videos in the culturally relevant Lifelines series are available at www.cancer.gov/lifelines.

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20111018/DC89117LOGO

SOURCE National Cancer Institute

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addres...
The technologies behind big data and cloud computing are converging quickly, offering businesses new capabilities for fast, easy, wide-ranging access to data. However, to capitalize on the cost-efficiencies and time-to-value opportunities of analytics in the cloud, big data and cloud technologies must be integrated and managed properly. Pythian's Director of Big Data and Data Science, Danil Zburivsky will explore: The main technology components and best practices being deployed to take advantage...
For years the world's most security-focused and distributed organizations - banks, military/defense agencies, global enterprises - have sought to adopt cloud technologies that can reduce costs, future-proof against data growth, and improve user productivity. The challenges of cloud transformation for these kinds of secure organizations have centered around data security, migration from legacy systems, and performance. In our presentation, we will discuss the notion that cloud computing, properl...
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
With more than 30 Kubernetes solutions in the marketplace, it's tempting to think Kubernetes and the vendor ecosystem has solved the problem of operationalizing containers at scale or of automatically managing the elasticity of the underlying infrastructure that these solutions need to be truly scalable. Far from it. There are at least six major pain points that companies experience when they try to deploy and run Kubernetes in their complex environments. In this presentation, the speaker will d...
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
When applications are hosted on servers, they produce immense quantities of logging data. Quality engineers should verify that apps are producing log data that is existent, correct, consumable, and complete. Otherwise, apps in production are not easily monitored, have issues that are difficult to detect, and cannot be corrected quickly. Tom Chavez presents the four steps that quality engineers should include in every test plan for apps that produce log output or other machine data. Learn the ste...
Digital Transformation is well underway with many applications already on the cloud utilizing agile and devops methodologies. Unfortunately, application security has been an afterthought and data breaches have become a daily occurrence. Security is not one individual or one's team responsibility. Raphael Reich will introduce you to DevSecOps concepts and outline how to seamlessly interweave security principles across your software development lifecycle and application lifecycle management. With ...
The vast majority of businesses now use cloud services, yet many still struggle with realizing the full potential of their IT investments. In particular, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) lack the internal IT staff and expertise to fully move to and manage workloads in public cloud environments. Speaker Todd Schwartz will help session attendees better navigate the complex cloud market and maximize their technical investments. The SkyKick co-founder and co-CEO will share the biggest challe...
Enterprises are striving to become digital businesses for differentiated innovation and customer-centricity. Traditionally, they focused on digitizing processes and paper workflow. To be a disruptor and compete against new players, they need to gain insight into business data and innovate at scale. Cloud and cognitive technologies can help them leverage hidden data in SAP/ERP systems to fuel their businesses to accelerate digital transformation success.
Dhiraj Sehgal works in Delphix's product and solution organization. His focus has been DevOps, DataOps, private cloud and datacenters customers, technologies and products. He has wealth of experience in cloud focused and virtualized technologies ranging from compute, networking to storage. He has spoken at Cloud Expo for last 3 years now in New York and Santa Clara.
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Machine learning provides predictive models which a business can apply in countless ways to better understand its customers and operations. Since machine learning was first developed with flat, tabular data in mind, it is still not widely understood: when does it make sense to use graph databases and machine learning in combination? This talk tackles the question from two ends: classifying predictive analytics methods and assessing graph database attributes. It also examines the ongoing lifecycl...
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, discussed how data centers of the future will be managed, how the p...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.