At the annual Biden Cancer Summit in Washington, DC, NYU Langone cancer expert Joseph E. Ravenell, MD, discussed his research on improving colorectal cancer screening in populations that usually have poor outcomes.
In his research study, Dr. Ravenell recruited trusted people to serve as patient navigators in underserved communities. In places outside the traditional healthcare setting, such as barbershops, these patient navigators can help people overcome roadblocks to lifesaving screening for colorectal cancer. The barbershop, Dr. Ravenell says, has long been a safe haven for black men, where they come together and discuss many topics including health.
“Our research has revealed that fear, lack of access, lack of awareness of the need for screening, and mistrust of the medical system are common barriers to screening among black men,” says Dr. Ravenell. “We found that if the men were connected to one of these patient navigators, they were more than twice as likely to complete colon cancer screening compared to just a referral from their doctor.”
Watch more on the Biden Cancer Foundation’s YouTube channel.