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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3022.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - 8:42 AM

Abstract #118374

Colorectal Cancer Screening Surveillance among Hispanics in the US: Current National Data Is Likely an Over-Estimate

Marielos L. Vega, BSN, RN1, Stanley H. Weiss, MD2, Ping-Hsin Chen, PhD1, Jeanne Ferrante, MD1, Ana Natale-Pereira, MD3, Sue Rovi, PhD1, and Mark S. Johnson, MD, MPH1. (1) Department of Family Medicine, UMDNJ - New Jersey Medical School, 185 South Orange Ave, MSB-B-648, Newark, NJ 07103, 973-972-2495, vegama@umdnj.edu, (2) Department of Preventive Medicine & Community Health/Epidemiology, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, 30 Bergen St, Bldg 16, Suite ADMC 1614, Newark, NJ 07107-3000, (3) Department of Medicine - Academic Medicine, Geriatrics, and Community Programs, UMDNJ - New Jersey Medical School, 185 South Orange Ave, MSB- I 594, Newark, NJ 07103

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer in Hispanic men and second most common cancer in Hispanic women in the US, yet reported CRC screening rates remain the lowest. The 39.9 million Hispanics in 2003 make them the largest US minority group, with over 58% believed to have come to the US over the past decade. Health care access barriers for Hispanics are associated with Limited English Proficiency and poor literacy levels. These data indicate the importance of accurate estimates on health of Hispanics and yet, based on language and cultural beliefs, possible limitations to reported CRC screening. The Spanish translations utilized in major national surveys that collect screening surveillance data have undergone limited validation. Our study examines socio-cultural barriers for CRC screening and its possible impact on self-reported data in BRFSS and NHIS. We conducted focus groups with Hispanic men and women to assess their understanding of key concepts and questions. Numerous problems were revealed that could have significant impact on the accuracy of CRC screening data. Current figures likely over-estimate actual CRC screening in Hispanics. Fecal occult blood testing (FOBT) is commonly used in the US for CRC screening but rarely in most Latin American countries. Home stool collection by Hispanics is frequently interpreted as a screen for parasites/infections, leading to a misunderstanding by Hispanics when asked about “fecal blood testing” in national surveys when cancer is not even mentioned. Systematic critical appraisal of understanding of questions asked of Hispanics remains necessary and will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:

  • By the end of the presentation, participants will be able to

    Keywords: Hispanic, Cancer Screening

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:

    I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

    Cancer Screening

    The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA