Breaking Down Barriers: Temple Health’s Pioneering Efforts to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screenings and Address Disparities

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

Temple Health is actively working to improve access to screening options and address racial disparities in outcomes for colorectal cancer. 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.

One positive development in recent years is the decrease in new cases of colon cancer among older adults. This is largely attributed to advancements in screening techniques, which allow for early detection and treatment, increasing the chances of a cure. However, health experts have noted that many adults who are eligible for routine screening at age 45 do not undergo preventative colonoscopies, which can result in individuals not realizing they have colon or rectal cancer until it has progressed to an advanced stage.

Temple Health is focusing on raising awareness about alternative screening options such as take-home fecal immunochemical tests (FIT), for those who may face challenges in completing colonoscopies. Factors such as lack of transportation, health insurance, and paid time off can pose obstacles to individuals seeking preventative care. 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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