For patients who live in segregated communities, geographic region plays a significant role in when individuals are diagnosed with colon cancer. This is important because timing of cancer diagnosis affects prognosis. Detecting cancer in advanced stages means that the cancer is more difficult to treat.
A recent study found that patients that live highly segregated Asian communities in coastal California are more likely to have late-stage colon cancer at diagnosis, yet patients who lived in highly segregated African American communities in large urban areas and the Sun Belt are less likely to be diagnosed with advanced stage colon cancer.
Furthermore, the study also showed that people who lived in segregated locations among their same race or ethnicity benefited from a slightly protective effect and had a lower risk of late-stage diagnosis of colon cancer.
Using information from the United States Cancer Center Database, researchers looked at data from more than 500,000 cases of colon cancer newly diagnosed from 2004 to 2009. Researchers also reviewed literature that found examples of a variety of initiatives to promote urban populations to have a colon screening. These campaigns’ audiences were mostly minority, low-income and non-English speaking sections of urban people groups. Very few campaigns targeted rural populations and no campaigns targeted Asian communities (Source: Oncology Nurse Advisor).
This data is important as research groups seek to educate Americans on the importance of colon cancer education. Currently, colon cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer death in the United States, but most cases of colon cancer could be prevented with regular screening.