Mailman School Screening Program Benefits Underserved Latino Population

Underserved Latino Population New York, NY -- March 2001 The Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University sponsors a colorectal cancer screening program in Northern Manhattan and the South Bronx for people over 50 who are uninsured or underinsured. About 80% of the community served are Latinos. Colorectal cancer incidence and mortality rise with advancing age.

Nationally, colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer among Latinas, and third most common cancer among Latinos. In Northern Manhattan, the rates of new cases and of deaths are even higher than the national average. Early detection can prevent the disease and save lives, but most Americans do not participate in screening programs.

In the Mailman School program, funded by the New York State Department of Health, the first screening is an easy-to-use, at-home, self-administered fecal occult blood test. Our rates of returned screening tests (those which are brought in for laboratory examination) are more than 2.5 times the national rate. When the results are positive, further work-ups, including surgery when necessary, are done at no cost to the patient. In the two years since the inception of this project, 1,681 people have been tested.

If you would like more information or to speak with the principal investigator, with a program health educator, and/or with a participant (in English or in Spanish) please contact Marlene Bloom at 212-305-4372 or Carolyn Conway at 212-305-4243.

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Mailman School, Marlene Bloom, Northern Manhattan, South Bronx