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New disease map resource can reduce MRSA infection in hospitalized patients

June 28, 2017

"We rode the coattails of an already successful, preexisting screening program model and showed that by introducing colon cancer screening at this time, we were able to facilitate the process and expand access," explained Dr. Shike. "This is important because many women coming to facilities like BECH have little or no health insurance, and many do not see a primary care physician regularly. We were able to remove the burden of having to obtain a referral, which in many cases leads to patients not getting the screening they need."

Of 2,616 eligible women, 611 patients initially gave their consent. Although fewer than 25 percent of those eligible joined the study, the researchers point out that the lack of involvement was not for lack of interest. "Only a small percentage cited a lack of interest for declining screening," noted Dr. Shike. "Once the eligible patients were sitting face-to-face with a healthcare provider, the majority of women were engaged in the discussion."

"Our colonoscopy findings in this study are similar to those in the general population, so offering colon cancer screening to underserved, minority women at the time of mammography, without a doctor's referral, is an effective way to expand screening," said Dr. Shike, who notes that alternatives to traditional medical insurance continue to be a barrier to access for the uninsured.

Source: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center