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Targeted Methods Boost Minority Colon Cancer Screening

More Chinese-Americans got the test when informed in their own language

MONDAY, July 24, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Interventions tailored to language and culture can significantly boost colorectal cancer screening rates for U.S. minority groups, a new study finds.

The study found that low-income, Chinese-speaking patients in the United States were six times more likely to be screened for colorectal cancer when a clinic-based, multilingual health educator provided the patients with culturally and linguistically appropriate counseling, educational materials, and screening test instructions.

Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Seattle, reported the findings in the Sept. 1 issue of Cancer.

The study included two groups: one control group received standard care, while the intervention group received the targeted counseling and information, including fecal occult blood test (FOBT) instructions and three FOBT cards.

FOBT is a type of screening test for colorectal cancer.

Within six months, nearly 70 percent of the patients in the intervention group had completed FOBT screening, compared to just over 27 percent of patients in the control group.

"Our results confirm the notable effectiveness of a multi-component, culturally appropriate health education program to promote FOBT screening within an ethnic minority group," the study authors wrote.

Until a few decades ago, colorectal cancer was predominately a Western disease that afflicted Caucasians, the study noted. But studies of U.S. immigrants from countries with a low incidence of colorectal cancer show that the incidence of colorectal cancer in those immigrant groups increases within one generation of living in the United States.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about colorectal cancer screening.

SOURCE: John Wiley & Sons Inc., news release, July 24, 2006
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