Colon Cancer Survival Rates on the Rise, But Not For All Races and Ethnicities

Previous research showed that more people are surviving colon cancer at much higher rates than they were during the mid-90s, but this most recent study shows that trend only applies to non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic Asians. When comparing 1992-1997 with 2004-2009 non-Hispanic white and non-Hispanic Asians experienced rate increases of 9.8% to 15.7% and 11.4% to 17.7% respectively.

Non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics on the other hand, only saw minimal jumps of 8.6% to 9.8% and 14.0% to 16.4% respectively during those same time frames. Here's a graphical summary of that data. 

Per the American Cancer Society, the researchers cited socioeconomic factors, affordability of new drugs, lack of health insurance, limited access to transportation, the quality of screening tests and differences in screening rates in these groups as obstacles that may be causing this disparity.

The study also reported on differences in age groups in this study, finding most of the improvement came from "younger non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic Asians," who are more likely to receive proper treatment for fighting colon cancer.

As for solutions to this problem, researchers cited improving efforts in education and affordability to get more people the treatment they need.



  • An unrelated study found that people who live more than 50 miles from diagnostic centers are associated with being diagnosed with "more advanced colon cancer stage and earlier initiation of treatment." (via 2 Minute Medicine)

  • The Canadian government is planning to move all diagnostic colonoscopies from hospital rooms to local clinics. (via 570news)
  • The American Cancer Society received a1.5 million grant from Wellpoint it plans to use to increase cancer screening and education in underserved communities.
  • Researchers say relatives of people with polyps have an increased risk for colon cancer and early-onset colon colon cancer. (via Bottom Line Publications)
  • The lede for this story sums it up well: "Space age technology for locating dangerous gases is being adapted to transform smartphones into cancer-finding tools" (via Healthcare IT News)
  • If you're an egg lover, you may be at greater risk of developing colon cancer. (via Gastroenterology Update)
  • Exciting news: researchers say they've found a weakness that could be exploited to fight one particularly aggressive cancer gene. (via Medical Xpress)
  • In a study meant to find new target genes for colon cancer chemotherapy, researchers found two gene rearrangements in lung cancer that are also present in colon cancer. (via OncLive)
  • The inspiring story of a woman who uses colon cancer advocacy to help her carry on the memory of her late father. (via Fight Colorectal Cancer)


  • We're very excited about our newest infographic, which looks at how many people get colon cancer in various age groups: How Many People In Your Age Group Develop Colon Cancer

  • Madison-area folks: we're sponsoring four very special presenations of National Geographic Live! at the Overture Center this spring. The first was this past Tuesday, but check out the remaining three here.

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Topics: Colon Cancer News and Information

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