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Long distances to screening may perpetuate disparities in colorectal cancer for Native Americans and Alaskan Natives

About one-third of the closest colorectal cancer screening facilities for Native Americans and Alaskan Natives was more than 200 miles away, according to a new study. The average distance for the two-thirds of facilities within 200 miles was about 80 miles.

American Indian and Alaskan Natives have nearly three times higher incidence rates of colorectal cancer compared with other groups.

“A significant proportion of American Indian/Alaskan Native tribes do not have accessible, accredited centers for lung, breast, and colorectal cancer screening,” the researchers concluded. “Distance barriers may perpetuate existing disparities in cancer screening outcomes among groups who face multilevel barriers to care.”

The research was presented at a 2022 scientific meeting.

See “Indigenous Americans face cancer screening access challenges” by Kate Madden Yee on the AuntMinnie website (May 2, 2022)