Commentary |

Strategies for Reducing Colorectal Cancer Among Blacks

Samir Gupta, MD, MSCS; Jessica Shah, MD, MSCS; Bijal A. Balasubramanian, MBBS, PhD
Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(2):182-184. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.594.
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Blacks have the highest colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence and mortality of any racial/ethnic group in the United States.1 Indeed, at every age, CRC incidence is higher for blacks than for non-Hispanic whites (Figure). Differences in CRC incidence and mortality have been attributed to poor access to care, failure of physicians to recommend CRC screening, and low rates of participation when screening is offered, as well as possible differences in tumor characteristics and genetics among blacks compared with other groups.2,3

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Figure. Age-specific incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) among blacks, Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program, 2000-2007. The incidence of CRC was highly age dependent: 88.0% of CRCs occurred after the age of 50 years; blacks aged 50 to 59 years and 45 to 49 years accounted for 21% and 5%, respectively. Data for whites, SEER Program, 2000-2007, are plotted for comparison; at all ages older than 45 years, blacks have a higher incidence of CRC, but the age-dependent CRC incidence pattern is similar.




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