Although Colorectal Cancer (CRC) Awareness Month has drawn to a close, Charles Rogers, MSAS, a doctoral candidate and teaching assistant in the Department of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A & M University, is asking for help with a project he hopes “will contribute to solutions that eliminate disparities in health, cancer, and healthcare, moving closer to the long term goal of achieving health equity for all in the United States.” And he’s starting from the bottom up -- so to speak -- by focusing on CRC, the third-leading cause of death from cancer in the United States for men and women. Excluding skin cancers, it is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the US.
More than 140,000 people in the US are diagnosed with CRC each year, and over 50,000 die because of it annually. The majority of CRC can be prevented with proper screening, early detection, and removal of adenomatous polyps. Unfortunately, according to the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE), only about 50 percent of adults who should have colonoscopies comply with recommended guidelines. More than 60 percent of Americans aged 50 or older (approximately 42 million people) have not utilized any screening method for CRC.
The incidence of CRC is higher among African-Americans than any other population group in the United States. Death rates from CRC are also higher among African-Americans. Evidence suggests that African-Americans are less likely than Caucasians to get screening tests for CRC and, thus, less likely to have colorectal polyps detected at a time when they can easily be removed. In turn, they are more likely to be diagnosed with CRC in advanced stages when fewer treatment options are available, and less likely than other populations to live five or more years after being diagnosed with CRC.
African-American women have the same chance of getting CRC as men and are more likely to die of CRC than women of any other ethnic or racial group. Research shows that African-Americans are being diagnosed at a younger average age than other people. Therefore, notes the ASGE, some experts suggest that African-Americans should begin their screening at age 45.
Rogers says his research seeks to advance understanding of the intersection of male role norms, knowledge, attitudes, and intentions to screen for CRC among young adult African-American men. “There is a critical need for exploring the poorly understood, complex factors that may shape intentions to screen for CRC among men who are younger than those traditionally assessed by health promotion researchers and clinicians (i.e., African-American men, ages 19-45). The ‘playing field’ is not even as it relates to deaths from colorectal cancer for African-American men.”
He is asking African-American men between the ages of 19 and 45 to complete an online survey. You can help by spreading the word. “Spread the word via word of mouth, email, text message, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.!”
The survey takes about 30 minutes to complete and participants will be entered into a drawing to receive one of four prizes: a Google Nexus 7 tablet; Beats by Dre™ PowerBeats™ In-Ear Headphones; Amazon Kindle Fire; or an Apple TV.
For more information about this study, please contact Charles Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-438-2412.