How can we impact on colorectal cancer rates that are higher among certain populations? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Black Americans have higher rates of colorectal cancer than white Americans, the nation’s cancer report card finds. While researchers are trying to discern why this is so, Kathy Bull Henry, a colorectal cancer expert at Johns Hopkins, says we can focus on the two modifiable risk factors we can impact.

Bull Henry: What we need to try to concentrate on are the risk factors that we can do something about. The environmental factors and screening utilization. So screening is key. Removal of precancerous lesions so that we are actually preventing cancer and/or early detection of early stage cancer, so that cancer can be treated at early stages where we have better outcomes.  :26

Bull Henry says only screening colonoscopy offers the opportunity to both identify and remove polyps, which predate most colorectal cancers, but says some people are resistant to this screening method, so one of the several others can be employed to see if colonoscopy is needed. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.