Colorectal cancer: An emphasis on factors influencing racial/ethnic disparities

Ishna Sharma, Suhhyun Kim, Swathi Sridhar, Riyaz Basha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Current statistics related to cancer incidence and cancer-related death rates clearly show that specific racial/ethnic minorities are more likely to be diagnosed and/or die with cancer. Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in the United States and it disproportionately affects the non-Hispanic Black or African American (AA) population. When compared to the non-Hispanic White (nHW) population, incidence and death rates in AAs are 28% and 60% higher, respectively. Hispanics have an overall lower CRC incidence rate than nHWs (Hispanics: 35.5 per 100,000 population; nHWs: 40.2 per 100,000 population), but their incidence continues to rise, unlike nHWs, who are experiencing a decline. This disparity between Hispanics and nHWs is further highlighted in the younger Hispanic population. While the cause of the disparities is associated with CRC-related genetic and environmental factors, the role of specific genes/mutations in each population are still not fully unraveled. However, because CRC is a slowly progressing disease, routine screening and/or early intervention are key to achieving better outcomes in CRC patients and ultimately in closing the disparity gap among different populations. This review discusses the major factors influencing the disparities in CRC and also focuses on factors such as treatment response, family history, and screening that potentially contribute to the racial/ethnic disparities in CRC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-160
Number of pages10
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncogenesis
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020


  • Colorectal cancer
  • Health disparities
  • Race and ethnicity


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