Minorities and Colorectal Cancer
Alaska Natives and American Indians, African-Americans and Hispanics are more likely than non-Hispanic Whites to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in later stages of the disease.
According to the most recent data available, between 1997 and 2006, incidence rates (the rate of people in a group diagnosed with a disease in a specific period of time) for colorectal cancer among men declined in every ethnic and racial group, except among American Indian/Alaska Native women.
Between 1997 and 2006 (most recent data available), death rates for colorectal cancer decreased for all ethnic groups except among American Indian/Alaska Native men, and Hispanic and American Indian/Alaska Native women.
Overall, Asian Americans have the lowest cancer incidence and death rates when compared to non-Hispanic Whites, African Americans and Hispanics in the US. Among Asian Americans, Chinese Americans have the highest rates of colorectal cancer.
AFRICAN-AMERICANS AND COLORECTAL CANCER
- Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer among both African-American men and women.
- African Americans are less likely to be screened for colorectal cancer than non-Hispanic Whites.
- Among African Americans aged 50 and older surveyed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2005 (most recent data available), fewer than 11 percent reported having a fecal occult blood test in the past year. Only 36.9 percent of those surveyed underwent a sigmoidoscopy in the past five years or a colonoscopy in the past 10 years.
- African Americans are less likely to have colorectal cancer detected in its early, more easily treated stages than are non-Hispanic whites. They are less likely to live five or more years after being diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Based on the most recent data available, from 1999 to 2006, the five-year colorectal cancer survival rate was 57 percent for African Americans compared with 68 percent for non-Hispanic whites.
HISPANICS AND COLORECTAL CANCER
- Hispanic Americans are less likely to get screened for the disease than are African Americans and non-Hispanic whites.
- Among Hispanics aged 50 and older in a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2005 (most recent data), fewer than 10 percent reported having a fecal occult blood test in the preceding year. Only 28.3 percent of those surveyed underwent a sigmoidoscopy in the past five years or colonoscopy in the last ten years. Hispanics have the lowest rate for colorectal cancer screening among ethnic and racial groups surveyed.
- Only four of 10 Hispanics with colorectal cancer are diagnosed in early, more easily treated stages of the disease.
AMERICAN INDIANS AND ALASKA NATIVES AND COLORECTAL CANCER
- Colorectal cancer incidence rates for American Indian/Alaska Native women and men are significantly higher than in non-Hispanic whites.
- Most American Indians are less likely than non-Hispanic whites to be screened for colorectal cancer or to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in its earlier, easier-to-treat stages.
- Death rates and incidence among this population for a number of cancers varies from one geographic region to the next. Colorectal cancer incidence is higher in Alaska and the Northern Plains, but is lower in the Southwest.