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Barriers Driving Racial Disparities in Colorectal Cancer Screening in African Americans

Abstract

Purpose of Review

Colorectal cancer screening has been shown to decrease mortality from colorectal cancer. Screening disparities continue to exist among ethnic minorities, particularly for African Americans. We herein review the barriers of colorectal cancer screening in this population.

Recent Findings

At its foundation are patient barriers, which are further compounded by physician-related barriers and the idiosyncrasies of the healthcare system. Interventions to address the barriers include patient outreach, provider education, and healthcare legislation addressing financial barriers. Recent research has focused on factors predicting intentions to undergo colorectal cancer screening. Underlying all of the barriers is the systemic racism that affects and influences the healthcare system as much as all other institutions and contributes to inequities in the delivery of effective cancer prevention efforts.

Summary

Perpetual disparities in CRC screening within the African American community are due to multifactorial barriers from the individual patient to provider and healthcare system and societal influences. An awareness of the behavioral and systemic factors that affect African Americans must underpin efforts to reach full equity in delivering CRC screening to this often medically underserved segment of our society.

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Correspondence to Steven H. Itzkowitz.

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Dr. Itzkowitz reports personal fees from Exact Sciences Corporation, during the conduct of the study. Dr. White has no potential conflicts to disclose.

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All reported studies/experiments with human or animal subjects performed by the authors have been previously published and complied with all applicable ethical standards (including the Helsinki declaration and its amendments, institutional/national research committee standards, and international/national/institutional guidelines).

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White, P.M., Itzkowitz, S.H. Barriers Driving Racial Disparities in Colorectal Cancer Screening in African Americans. Curr Gastroenterol Rep 22, 41 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11894-020-00776-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11894-020-00776-0

Keywords

  • Colorectal cancer
  • Screening
  • Barriers
  • Disparities
  • African Americans