Racial minorities may be less likely to get colon cancer screenings because their healthcare providers are not recommending the potentially life-saving test, a new study suggests.
Researchers analyzed data from a 2009 California Health Interview Survey, which included information regarding their health, visits to healthcare providers and health insurance. They examined the patients that had not been screened for colon cancer, specifically looking at the reason listed for not doing so.
The main reason respondents said they had not been screened, with about 20%, was “no reason/did not think about it.” This was followed closely, with 19%, by “doctor did not tell me I needed the test.”
This response was chosen more by minorities than whites. 25% of African Americans, 21% of Latinos and 22% of Asian Americans chose this response, compared to only 17% of whites that cited the same reason.
Past studies have shown that minorities have a lower survival rate than whites, and this could be a strong contributing factor. Colon cancer screenings can significantly improve survival rates, and it is important for patients to know about their options.
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