Research

Geography Plays Role in Colon Cancer

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A research from UC Davis Cancer Center has revealed that a person screening for colon cancer often depends on where they live in addition to their race or ethnicity. In a paper published in the journal Cancer, researchers from UC Davis Cancer Center demonstrated that while screening rates for whites rarely vary regardless of geography, location accounts for significant differences in colorectal testing among non-whites.The researchers have found that whites were more likely to be up-to-date on screening than other races everywhere, except in Hawaii, where Asian-Pacific Islanders had significantly higher screening rates than whites (52 percent versus 38 percent). It has long been known that racial minorities have lower colorectal screening rates than whites, presumably because of differences in socioeconomic status, access to care and cultural issues. What hasn’t been known, until now, is whether these differences also vary across geographic regions.The researchers have analysed data from 53,990 Medicare enrollees ages 69 to 79 in eight states and 11 regions including: Atlanta, Ga.; rural Georgia; San Francisco-Oakland; San Jose-Monterey; Los Angeles County; Seattle-Puget Sound, Wash.; Detroit, Mich.; Connecticut; Hawaii; Iowa; and New Mexico. Individuals were considered up-to-date on colon cancer screening if they had a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy within the prior five years or fecal occult blood testing within the past year  

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