University at Buffalo Aims to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screening among African-Americans

Marc T. Kiviniemi, Assistant Professor, Department of Community Health and Health Behavior

Published November 1, 2013

The University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai will collaborate on a $2,658,940 grant from the National Cancer Institute to study what influences African-Americans to get screened for colorectal cancer (CRC) and to develop interventions based on those influences. Dr. Marc T. Kiviniemi, assistant professor in the department of community health and health behaviors at the University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions, is one of three principal investigators on the grant.

According to Dr. Kiviniemi, there is a critical need to understand why so many African-Americans are not being screened. Compared to European Americans, African-Americans are 20 percent more likely to have CRC and 18 percent more likely to die from it. While screening for the disease, by colonoscopy in particular, is the most effective way to detect colorectal cancer early and thereby improve treatment outcomes, studies show that there are substantial disparities for screening among racial and ethnic groups. Co-principal investigators on the grant are Dr. Deborah Erwin, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and Ms. Lina Jandorf, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Gary Winkel, also of Icahn School of Medicine, is a co-investigator.