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Study: More frequent colorectal cancer tests recommended for blacks

Category: Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers

African Americans may face a greater risk of developing colorectal cancer than other ethnic groups, new research suggests.

Researchers from the California Pacific Medical Center studied the medical records of more than 500,000 cases of colorectal cancer diagnosed between 1973 and 2004, HealthDay News reports.

According to the records, black males were more than twice as likely as Asian-American men to receive a diagnosis of proximal cancer - a disease related to colorectal cancer. Each year the disease affects about 25.2 people per a population of 100,000 compared to 11.7 per 100,000 Asian American males.

The study indicates that both male and female blacks also had significantly higher rates than whites and Hispanics. Researchers said blacks are also more likely to be diagnosed in advanced stages of the disease.

"I think access to care plays a huge role in determining who is at risk and how great that risk is," said the study's author Dr Robert Wong. "But access alone does not explain all the differences. Members of certain groups may not have enough information on the importance of screening."

According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the U.S. The organization suggests that men and women over 50 at an average risk for developing colorectal cancer should use a screening test, such as a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy.

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