Colorectal cancer screening—generally advised for people age 50 and older—saves lives. Yet only about 15 percent of those who lack insurance receive screening, research has indicated, compared with 50 percent of insured people. And rates for African-Americans and Hispanics lag substantially behind those for whites.
Thus a key challenge in reducing colon cancer deaths is delivery of early detection and follow-up services to people who are inadequately insured and to minorities. Partnering with the community and local health systems, Simmons Cancer Center researchers are addressing that challenge and are setting an agenda nationally for colorectal cancer detection in the neediest of populations.