Family History of Colon Cancer Decreases Likelihood of Testing

There appears to be an interesting correlation between a family history of colon cancer and the likelihood of getting tested for some African Americans. You would think that people who are familiar with the disease would want to get screening because they would want to catch the problem early on. However, studies indicate that people who have a family history of the disease are actually less likely to get screening than the average African American is. This is of particular concern because the African American population is significantly more likely to die from the disease than any other group in America. It is unclear what the reason for this is although it is believed to be due partially to the fact that this group has lower screening rates than other groups in the country. One good bit of information that came out of this study was that the people in the study were definitely more likely to get screening if it was specifically recommended to them by their doctors. This held true whether or not the individual had a family history of colon cancer. As a result, it appears that doctors can alter the trends in African American death rates from the disease simply by educating patients about the need for screening. Question of the Day: Why would a history of colon cancer in the family decrease the likelihood that a person would get screening for that disease?

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