• Press Release

Mount Sinai Receives NIH Grant to Increase the Engagement of African Americans in Colorectal Cancer Screening

Mount Sinai researchers have received a grant from the NIH to determine why African Americans are less likely than others to receive colorectal cancer screenings.

  • New York, NY
  • (September 04, 2013)

Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have received a multi-year National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant to determine factors which may influence why African Americans are less likely than others to receive colorectal cancer (CRC) screenings, despite having the highest CRC incidence and mortality of any ethnic/racial group in America.  

“The short-term goal of this study is to understand why there is a lower screening prevalence among African Americans, and the long-term goal is to develop and disseminate effective intervention strategies to increase the CRC screening in this population, so that we can eliminate the race-related disparity in morbidity and mortality,” said Lina Jandorf, MA, Research Professor in the Department of Oncological Sciences at Mount Sinai and a principal investigator in the study.  

Colorectal cancer is the second leading source of cancer deaths and the third leading source of new cancer cases in the United States. The mortality rate for CRC is a remarkable 49 percent higher for African Americans than for whites, according to the American Cancer Society.  Improving CRC screening rates is important for early detection, treatment and improved survival rates.

Researchers at Mount Sinai, Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY and the University of Buffalo seek to enroll 900 study participants as part of the four-year, $2.6-million grant. They will compare the effectiveness of two approaches to educating African Americans over the age of 50 about the need for screening.  One is a “narrative” approach and involves story telling – i.e. encouraging participants to talk about their fears and thoughts associated with a colonoscopy screening.  The other approach is “didactic” – giving patients “just the facts” about the disease and the colonoscopy procedure.  Based on their findings, the research team hopes to develop new tools for educating African Americans about screening.

“While researchers have compared the success of narrative vs. didactic community education approaches for other cancers, this is the first such major comparative study for colorectal cancer in African Americans,” said Professor Jandorf. “Mount Sinai’s involvement in this study reflects our ongoing commitment to improving the health of our local community, much of which is African American.”

Under Professor Jandorf’s direction, Mount Sinai has extensive experience in conducting investigations and developing successful strategies to improve colon cancer screening rates for Hispanics, East Harlem residents and low-income minorities.

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center
The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses both The Mount Sinai Hospital and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Established in 1968, the Icahn School of Medicine is one of the leading medical schools in the United States, with more than 3,400 faculty in 32 departments and 14 research institutes. It ranks among the top 20 medical schools both in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding and by U.S. News & World Report. The Mount Sinai Hospital, founded in 1852, is a 1,171-bed tertiary- and quaternary-care teaching facility and one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. The Mount Sinai Hospital is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 25 hospitals in 7 specialties based on reputation, safety, and other patient-care factors. 
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About the Mount Sinai Health System

The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services—from community-based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.

The System includes approximately 7,100 primary and specialty care physicians; 12 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 140 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the renowned Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the highest in the nation in National Institutes of Health funding per investigator. The Mount Sinai Hospital is in the "Honor Roll" of best hospitals in America, ranked No. 15 nationally in the 2016-2017 "Best Hospitals" issue of U.S. News & World Report. The Mount Sinai Hospital is also ranked as one of the nation's top 20 hospitals in Geriatrics, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Nephrology, Neurology/Neurosurgery, and Ear, Nose & Throat, and is in the top 50 in four other specialties. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 10 nationally for Ophthalmology, while Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Mount Sinai St. Luke's, and Mount Sinai West are ranked regionally. Mount Sinai's Kravis Children's Hospital is ranked in seven out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report in "Best Children's Hospitals."

For more information, visit http://www.mountsinai.org or find Mount Sinai on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.