A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine revealed a significant communication gap regarding colorectal cancer (CRC) screening. The research found that only about 26.8% of patients who were overdue for CRC screening had received a recommendation from their clinician to undergo the screening. Despite the known benefits of routine screening in detecting and preventing early-stage CRC, over one-third of adults remain overdue. The study also highlighted disparities in screening recommendations, especially among low socioeconomic groups and underrepresented racial populations. For instance, the prevalence of CRC screening recommendations was notably lower for Black, Hispanic, and Asian individuals compared to their white counterparts. The findings emphasize the need for improved patient-clinician communication about CRC prevention.
Screening Recommendations: The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force had lowered the recommended age for CRC screening to 45 years in 2021, leading to a doubling of screening rates among adults aged 45 to 49 years.
Disparities in Care: The study found disparities in CRC screening recommendations, with less than 10% of those without a regular source of care receiving recommendations, compared to 32% of those with a family income more than 400% of the federal poverty level.
Racial Disparities: Black, Hispanic, and Asian individuals were less likely to receive CRC screening recommendations than their white counterparts.