The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all men and women who are 45 or older undergo routine screening for colorectal cancer (CRC) . Despite screening being one of the best ways to prevent or diagnose colorectal cancer early, many people are not participating in recommended testing.
Within certain racial and ethnic minorities in the US, there continues to be disparities in CRC incidence and mortality when compared to non-Hispanic whites. The disparities in incidence and mortality are related to various factors, including knowledge of family history, socioeconomic status, and a lack of access to quality care.
Increasing equitable access to quality care is integral to closing colorectal cancer care gaps within racial and ethnic minorities. Here’s how LetsGetChecked's home-based healthcare solutions can help.
Disparities among different ethnicities and races
Despite overall rates of CRC decreasing nationally and within certain racial and ethnic minorities in the US, screening uptake varies considerably among these different groups. For example, colorectal cancer screening rates are highest among white Americans (71.1%) and lowest among Hispanic Americans (56.1%). Black Americans (70.1%), American Indian/Native Americans (62.1%), and Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders (64.8%) also have screening rates lower than for white Americans .
Screening disparities among different racial and ethnic groups also contribute substantially to inequalities in population health outcomes. And, as a result, racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to develop colorectal cancer and die from it, compared with the general population of the US .
Barriers to equitable access
Unfortunatey, profound racial and ethnic disparities in health and well-being have long persisted in the United States. Black, Hispanic, and American Indian and Alaskan Native (AIAN) populations are less likely to have health insurance, more likely to face cost-related barriers to getting care, and less likely to have a usual source of care or regularly receive preventive services .
Differences in care access and screening rates can be explained in part by the impact of adverse social determinants of health (SDOH), or the economic and social conditions that effect health outcomes. These non-medical factors including social, clinical, cultural, psychological, and environmental factors create barriers that disproportionately affect marginalized and underserved communities in the United States and contribute substantially to disparities in colorectal cancer outcomes.
As the root cause of many colorectal cancer disparities lies in socioeconomic and racial inequities, a high unmet need remains to address inequalities in screening access and care.
How home-based healthcare solutions can increase equitable access to screening
At-home screening tests meet individuals where they are to help underserved populations overcome barriers to care access. These tests can strengthen access to potentially lifesaving health insights, while the ease and convenience of screening from the comfort and privacy of home can boost screening engagement.
While our at-home Colon Cancer Screening (FIT) Test is not a complete replacement for colonoscopies, it plays a vital role in the route to diagnosis and increasing screening uptake. This convenient, noninvasive stool analysis can encourage people to take the first important step in detecting colorectal cancer early, increasing screening rates and positively affecting population health outcomes.
LetsGetChecked’s flexible healthcare solutions make it easy for organizations to launch or expand an at-home colorectal cancer screening program and enable equitable and accessible care at scale.