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Updated 11:00 AM May 8, 2006




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BCBS grant aims to reduce colorectal cancer

Researchers at U-M-Flint will use an $85,000 grant from Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan to increase screening for colorectal cancer (CRC) among African American males. The project will build upon existing cancer awareness programs in Flint African American churches implemented by Faith Access to Community Development (FACED).

With the BCBS grant researchers hope to improve awareness of the necessity of CRC screening; facilitate annual CRC screenings among African American men; and use health teams already established in African American churches to increase early stage cancer detection in African American males.

A recent study among Flint residents ages 50-79 found that more whites than African Americans were aware of CRC screening procedures. Only 57 percent of African American males reported receiving colorectal cancer screenings.

UHWC and FACED will work with approximately 875 African American males in the program and follow-up session during a 15-month period.

U-M-Flint investigators Austin Agho, dean of the School of Health Professions and Studies (SHPS); Shan Parker, health promotionist; and Bryan Spencer, adjunct lecturer in Health Sciences and Administration in SHPS, and associate director of Urban Health and Wellness; and Yvonne Lewis, executive director of FACED, will develop a screening education and awareness program to be implemented in African American churches in Flint and Genesee County. A total of 25 churches will participate.

Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States.

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