The American Cancer Society estimates that by the end of 2019, there will be 145,600 new cases of people diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 51,020 deaths as a result from colorectal cancer (1). This cancer is one of the most preventable with early detection (2). The earlier an individual is screened, the higher their chances are for survival; survival rates are as high as 90% in the first stage of detection (3).
Colorectal cancer is cancer in the colon or the rectum due to a growth in the inner lining of the colon or rectum. These growths are called polyps and can be precancerous or not precancerous. Screenings for colorectal cancer are available and should be covered by most health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). There are several types of screenings and consultation with a primary care provider for insurance coverage is advised to decide the best course of action.
It is recommended that adults over the age of 50 be screened for colorectal cancer for early detection and treatment (2). Screenings can also include a colonoscopy, which is recommended every 10 years (1).
Despite preventative screenings available to stop the rate of colorectal cancer diagnoses, only 68.8% of LGBT Pennsylvanians 50 and older have reported completing a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy screening (4). This means that a third of LGBT Pennsylvanians, who are recommended for screenings, are not receiving preventative care. The goal set forth by the National Colorectal Roundtable is to have at least 80% of recommended individuals complete a colorectal screening (2). LGBT Pennsylvanians have yet to reach this goal.
BARRIERS TO CARE
There are numerous barriers in place which prevent LGBT individuals from reaching the National Colorectal Roundtable goal of 80% successful screening rate. According to the 2018 Pennsylvania LGBT Health Needs Assessment, 17% of LGBT individuals report not having a primary healthcare physician. Those that have had healthcare physician, 1 in 4 of them report having had a negative experience from a healthcare professional, and 1 in 3 LGBT individuals report their primary care provider is not competent in LGBT issues. In addition, 3 in 4 transgender or gender nonconforming people report fearing a negative reaction from a healthcare provider (4).
Our colorectal campaign is an evidenced-based campaign to increase colorectal screening among LGBT people aged 50 and above in the Lehigh Valley.
The campaign was funded through a grant from Olympus.
We are proud to partner with the LGBT Cancer Network on this initiative https://cancer-network.org/
LOCAL LGBT-KNOWLEDGABLE PROVIDERS
LVPG General, Bariatric & Trauma Surgery - Cedar Crest
1240 South Cedar Crest Blvd, Suite 308
Allentown PA 18103
LVPG General and Bariatric Surgery - Muhlenberg
2649 Schoenersville Road, Suite 202
Bethlehem PA 18017
1 “Colorectal Cancer.” American Cancer Society, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/about/key-statistics.html
2 “80% in Every Community. What can Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgerder do to advance the shared goal to screen 80% of age-eligable adults for Colorectal Cancer?” National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, 2019. Retrieved from https://nccrt.org/resource/80-in-every-community-lgbt/.
3 Lairson, David R., Junghyun Kim, Theresa Byrd, Rebekah Salaiz, and Navkiran K. Shokar. “Cost-Effectiveness of Community Interventions for Colorectal Cancer Screening: Low-Income Hispanic Population.” Health Promotion Practice 19, no. 6 (November 2018): 863–72. doi:10.1177/1524839917750815.
4 LiveHealthyPA Connecting for a Healthier Pennsylvania. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://tobaccofreesouthwest.org/News-Pennsylvania-2018-LGBT-Health-Needs-Assessment