Don’t ASSume: Why Colon Cancer Is Killing More Black People

African Americans have the highest mortality rates from colorectal cancer of any ethnic group in the United States – 40 percent higher than those of whites. Yet screening for colorectal cancer in the African American community has increased at a much slower rate compared to other groups. Why is this the case?

“African-Americans are more likely to get colon cancer, they’re more likely to have an advanced stage of disease when they’re diagnosed with colon cancer, they’re more likely to die from colon cancer and they have shorter survival after diagnosis with colon cancer,” said Dr. Darrell Gray II, Medical Director, Endoscopy and Gastroenterology Services at Ohio State University and Colorectal Cancer Alliance spokesperson.

He said there are many factors that come into play regarding this issue.

“In my experience speaking with patients and interacting with Black people in my community, they are often afraid of colonoscopies and resent the notion of