Wiley Logo Chances of undergoing colorectal cancer screening seem to be dependent on the race of an individual. A recent study asserts that people from some areas of the United States are more likely to get screened for colorectal cancer than those from other regions. Though racial and ethnic disparities in colorectal screening do exist among the Medicare population, such disparities also appeared across geographic regions.

At the time of the study, investigators assayed colorectal cancer screening among Medicare enrollees within eight U.S. states. People were considered eligible for screening, if fecal occult was present in the blood, or had undergone sigmoidoscopy/ colonoscopy in the previous five years. A little geographic variation within up-to-date status among whites was registered in those who were consistently more likely to be up-to-date on screening than other races except in Hawaii. In comparison to the white, the non-white up-to-date status seemingly varied across regions for blacks and Asian/Pacific Islanders but not Hispanics. Black differences in up-to-date status were probably greatest within Atlanta, rural Georgia, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Thomas Semrad, MD, of the University of California Davis, lead investigator and colleagues were unable to gauge any dramatic differences among whites and blacks in Connecticut, Seattle, or Iowa. On the other hand, Asian/Pacific Islanders allegedly had significantly lower up-to-date prevalence than whites in Michigan, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Jose. Asian/Pacific Islanders in Hawaii presumably had higher up-to-date status than whites. As compared to whites, Hispanic differences appeared substantial but homogeneous across regions. Further investigations can be carried out to analyze the way colorectal cancer screening disparities develop in some regions and not in others.

The study is published online in the journal CANCER.