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William J. Gradishar, MD, FACP, FASCO


Study Finds Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Colorectal Cancer Screening Among Breast Cancer Survivors

By: Joshua D. Madera, MS
Posted: Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Despite the associated increased risk of colorectal carcinoma in breast cancer survivors, screening adherence remains poor among certain racial and ethnic groups, according to a study published in JCO Oncology Practice. This decreased compliance may be associated with poor physical and/or mental health and therefore suggests that additional efforts should be dedicated to providing care directed at these components of wellness, explained Meng-Han Tsai, PhD, of the Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, and colleagues.

“Using culturally tailored patient navigation programs may increase access to appropriate mental and physical health services, resulting in adherence to colorectal cancer screening recommendations,” suggested the study authors.

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data were collected from 3,023 breast and prostate cancer survivors. Men with breast cancer were not included in the study analyses. All patients were assessed to determine their compliance with guideline-concordant colorectal cancer screening, as evidenced by a colonoscopy within 10 years, a sigmoidoscopy within 5 years, or a fecal occult blood test within 1 year. Cancer health factors and sociodemographic characteristics were collected and compared.

The study findings revealed that colorectal cancer screening compliance was decreased in non-Hispanic other/Hispanic breast cancer survivors (67.7%) as compared with non-Hispanic Black (89%) and non-Hispanic White (82%) breast cancer survivors. In addition, screening compliance was decreased in non-Hispanic Black (odds ratio [OR] = 0.32) and non-Hispanic other/Hispanic survivors (OR = 0.39) who had frequent poor mental health. This trend remained consistent in non-Hispanic Black (OR = 0.34) and non-Hispanic other/Hispanic (OR = 0.22) breast cancer survivors with poor physical health.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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