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In a telephone survey, Latinos were found to be less likely than whites to get screened for colon cancer, and much less likely when both groups had a family history of the disease, Reuters reports.
However, the study results did not show an ethnic difference in which women had recently been screened for breast cancer, whether or not it was in their families.
According to the news report:
Researchers didn’t know why each person in the study had or hadn’t gotten screened. But they proposed a few reasons why Latinos might not get their regular colon cancer check-ups, including communication problems with doctors and fear and anxiety about being screened.
“It seems very plausible that this is not happening for Latinos because of access barriers and language barriers,” said Heather Orom, who studies racial disparities in cancer at the University at Buffalo and wasn’t involved in the new study.
In addition, she added, “we don’t know if those messages about family history and risk are resonating culturally with Latinos.”
The data came from a 2005 survey of more than 30,000 adults under 65 in California.