Bridging the Gap: Temple Health Tackles Barriers to Early Colorectal Cancer Detection in Marginalized Communities.

Temple Health promotes the importance of at-home colon cancer screening

In recent years, advancements in screening techniques have led to a decrease in new cases of colon cancer among older adults. However, health experts have noted that many adults who are eligible for routine screening at age 45 do not undergo preventative colonoscopies. As a result, individuals may not realize they have colon or rectal cancer until it has progressed to an advanced stage. To address this issue, Temple Health is actively working to improve access to screening options and target individuals who are not currently receiving preventative care.

Dr. Abraham Ifrah, an internal medicine resident at Temple, emphasizes the importance of reaching marginalized individuals who often face barriers in accessing life-saving screenings. He highlights that colonoscopies are considered the most effective screening method for colorectal cancer as they can detect polyps and tumors at all stages. However, the procedure involves drinking a laxative solution the day before to cleanse the colon and being performed under anesthesia, which can be challenging for some individuals due to various factors such as lack of transportation, health insurance and paid time off.

In response to these barriers, Temple Health is focusing on raising awareness about alternative screening options such as take-home fecal immunochemical tests (FIT). These tests allow individuals to complete their screening from the comfort of their own homes and may be more accessible than traditional colonoscopies for those facing challenges in completing them. By promoting alternative screening methods and addressing barriers to access, Temple Health aims to increase early detection and improve outcomes for individuals at risk of colorectal cancer.

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