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Curbing Colorectal Cancer in Minority Populations

on March 31, 2024

(NewsUSA) - April is National Minority Health Month, and Black Americans, American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN), and underserved Americans, are among those disproportionately affected by colorectal cancer, according to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance (Alliance), the leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the disease.

The Alliance is expanding its health equity efforts to increase awareness of colorectal cancer risk in minority populations and to improve access to screening and care.

“Colorectal cancer is highly treatable when caught early,” said Cedrek McFadden, MD, colorectal cancer surgeon and Alliance Medical Scientific Advisory Committee member. “Providing equity and access for minority and underserved communities with barriers to screening and care must be a priority to help decrease incidence and mortality rates.”

To further address disparities, the Alliance has created a Health Equity Fund and Health Equity Advisory Committee to forge partnerships that:

●Offer free or low-cost screening options to more Americans in need.

●Expand financial assistance for patients during treatment.

●Enable innovative research to identify reasons for and solutions to disparities.

●Connect those most in need with high-quality and potentially lifesaving screening and treatment options.

“The Colorectal Cancer Alliance is committed to breaking down barriers to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment,” said Angele Russell, Senior Director of Partnerships & Health Equity, and leader of the Health Equity Advisory Committee at the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. “The Alliance’s Health Equity Fund and Health Equity Advisory Committee were established to address disparities in healthcare and provide free lifesaving screening and care resources to communities most affected by this deadly disease.”

The Alliance urges everyone, especially Black American and American Indian/Alaska Native populations, to know the risk factors and symptoms of colorectal cancer.

Risk factors include a family history of colorectal cancer, certain inherited genetic syndromes such as Lynch syndrome, chronic inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Symptoms of colorectal cancer may include a change in bowel habits, rectal bleeding, abdominal discomfort, weakness and/or fatigue, and unexplained weight loss.

The Alliance offers a free and easy online quiz, available in both English and Spanish, that provides a screening recommendation based on personal risk factors. Visit to take the quiz and receive a customized screening recommendation based on personal risk factors that you can discuss with your doctor.

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