Background: Colorectal carcinoma ranks as the second most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Hispanics are less likely than their non-Hispanic white counterparts to have ever received a fecal occult blood test (FOBT) or sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy. Little is known about the barriers to screening in the Hispanic population.
Methods: The authors used baseline data from a community randomized trial of cancer prevention to compare screening prevalence and the associations between reported barriers and screening participation between Hispanics (n = 137) and non-Hispanic whites (n = 491) age > or = 50 years.
Results: Hispanics were less likely than non-Hispanic whites to have ever received an FOBT (P = 0.003) or sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy (P = 0.001). No significant difference across ethnic groups was observed in the prevalence of recent screening using FOBT (29.8% for Hispanics vs. 34.5% for non-Hispanic whites; P = 0.41), but recent use of sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy was lower for Hispanics (24.1% for Hispanics vs. 33.7% for non-Hispanic whites; P 0.06). Lacking health care coverage or having few years of education were directly associated with failure to ever receive an FOBT or sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy.
Conclusions: Interventions to improve adherence to colorectal carcinoma screening recommendations among Hispanics should target initial screening examinations, particularly among those lacking health care coverage or having low levels of education.
Copyright 2005 American Cancer Society.