New colorectal cancer screening recommendations for African Americans

tes of physical inactivity, variability in screening rates, lower use of diagnostic testing, and increasing smoking rates have been most commonly implicated.
  • African Americans with colorectal cancer have decreased survival compared with whites. From 1992-1999, the five-year survival rate in African Americans was 53 percent, and 63 percent in whites. Part of the explanation for the decreased survival of African Americans with colorectal cancer is that a great proportion present with Stage IV diseases. This effect has been ascribed to lower screening rates, less use of diagnostic tests, and less access to health care.
  • For African Americans and whites with the same stage disease (Stage II or III), survival is lower for African Americans, except in the Veterans Administration system, where access to care is equal.
  • According to the U.S. Census Department there are 2.6 million African American men and women between age 45 and 49 in the United States (July 2003 data)
  • For more information on racial disparities in colorectal cancer see SEER Cancer Statistics Review 1975-2001 http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2001/
  • Full text of the recommendations can be found online at the American Journal of Gastroenterology


  • Contact: Anne-Louise Oliphant
    American College of Gastroenterology

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