That is the conclusion of a new study published early online in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. The results highlight the need to find alternative funding sources for colorectal cancer screening from the government or private institutions.
Colorectal cancer screening is inadequate in minority communities in the United States, particularly among those who lack health insurance. Many minority women receive mammograms, though, so it may be possible to expand colorectal cancer screening by offering it during mammography visits.
Moshe Shike, MD, of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City led a team that offered colonoscopies to women attending the Breast Examination Center of Harlem, a community outreach program of Memorial Sloan-Kettering serving the primarily black and Hispanic Harlem Community. Screening was offered from July 2003 through October 2005, and 2,616 women were eligible (at least 50 years of age without a history of colorectal cancer or screening within the last 10 years). Of these women, 2,005 (77 percent) refused to participate in the study, and 611 women (23 percent) were enrolled. The investigators found that the overwhelming majority of women who declined to participate in the study were interested in colorectal cancer screening. Therefore, offering colorectal cancer screening at the time of mammography is an effective way of generating interest and initiating the process. Of the 611 women who enrolled in the study, 337 (55 percent) went on to have a screening colonoscopy. The most important barrier to screening was lack of medical insurance. Forty-nine women (15 percent) who underwent screening had cancerous polyps.
These results verify that colorectal cancer screening can indeed be expanded by offering it during mammography visits. "Minority women can be referred, medically screened, and prepared for colonoscopy without seeing a doctor initially; this can be done by nurses and can greatly facilitate colon cancer screening, particularly in medically underserved communities," said Dr. Shike. "The new Health Insurance Bill passed by Congress will likely increase demand for screening, and it is important to find ways to facilitate the process," he added.
Jennifer Beal | EurekAlert!
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The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
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The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
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