New way of expanding cancer screening for minority women
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: A new program has increased colorectal cancer screenings for minority women by partnering with mammography centers. Increasing access to the screenings is one way of removing barriers to this important preventitive care.
"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.'"