Written by Amanda Harper

Ohio State University
Medical Center

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Colorectal cancer experts have launched a new initiative to improve the early detection and prevention of colorectal cancer in the black community, which has historically been at increased risk for colorectal cancer due to lack of timely medical examinations and colorectal examinations.

Previously reported scientific studies show that black patients are 20% more likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 40% more likely than white patients who are not Hispanic. In Ohio alone, it is estimated that more than 22% of black patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer die from the disease.

“It is tragic and unacceptable in a disease with a very effective and affordable screening tool to detect the disease in the precancerous and treatable stages,” he said. Dr. Subhankar Chakrabartigastroenterologist with tOhio State University’s Cancer Center is the Arthur James Cancer Hospital and the Richard J. Research Institute. Nightingale (OSUCCC – James).

“As we are driven by the third year of a global pandemic that continues to hamper both life and access to medical treatment, it is even more important to find ways to improve the timeliness of cancer screening. Early detection is really a matter of life or death in some cases. We want to catch the disease in its precancerous stage. ”

Thanks to this new initiative, tWexner Medical Center, Ohio State University sent by mail colorectal cancer screening kits to 400 patients eligible for – but not yet received – colorectal cancer screening. The initiative is carried out in partnership with Center for Justice in Cancer Health in OSUCCC-James.

This initiative aims to increase the number of rectal cancer screenings in this historically underserved population. The program was designed to make it easier for disproportionately affected groups, particularly black men and women between the ages of 45 and 75, to undergo timely screening for rectal cancer. This initiative is part of a broader, research-based approach to addressing health health mismatches in Ohio conducted by OSUCCC-James.

Previously peer-reviewed studies confirm an increase in morbidity and survival between white and black Americans, noting that every 24th black American suffers from rectal cancer in a lifetime.

For this new initiative, black men and women between the ages of 45 and 75 who are being treated in Ohio and who meet the medical criteria for colorectal cancer screening but have not yet completed the test will be invited for a home colorectal cancer screening. set. Individuals will receive a letter describing how to take the test, and will receive a follow-up call from the medical facility to answer any questions.

Known as the “FIT” kit, this test can detect microscopic amounts of blood in the stool that may be early signs of colon cancer. The kit includes materials for collecting and returning a stool sample for medical examination. A nurse from Ohio State University will then contact all involved individuals who have abnormal findings to explain the test results, and then discuss and possibly schedule a follow-up colonoscopy. This established screening uses a tiny camera to look into the large intestine for signs of cancer. During this test, specialists can identify and remove growths called polyps. Polyps are small clumps of cells in the lining of the colon or rectum. Some polyps are precancerous and can develop into colon cancer if left to grow.

Chakrabarti notes that it can take 10 to 15 years for polyps to turn into cancer, and they are almost always asymptomatic – so screening for precancerous polyps is an important tool for early detection and prevention.

Individuals are encouraged to contact their primary care provider regarding the approach to colorectal cancer screening that suits them. Visit wexnermedical.osu.edu/digestive-diseases/preparation-colonoscopy to learn more about the procedure.


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