A recent study by American Cancer Society grantee Annette E. Maxwell, DrPH, from the University of California, Los Angeles, found that small, community-based multi-component interventions significantly increased colon cancer screening among Filipino Americans. Dr. Maxwell’s grant, titled “Community Dissemination of an Evidence-Based CRC Screening Intervention,” focused specifically on Filipino members of the community (recruited from more than 45 Filipino American community centers and churches) who were not compliant with the current colorectal cancer screening guidelines. These findings were published in the American Journal of Public Health in November 2010.

Nearly 550 study participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups – two intervention groups and one control. Those in the intervention groups received an education session, printed take-home materials, a reminder letter, and a letter to physicians. The only difference between the two intervention groups was that one received a free take-home screening kit, while the other group did not. People in the control group had a session promoting physical activity. Six months after the intervention, participants in both intervention groups, either with or without the free screening kit, were significantly more likely to have been screened (30% and 25%) than participants in the control group (9%). These findings will help the medical and public health community design programs that can impact cancer screening rates in underserved communities, thereby helping to reduce disparities in cancer outcomes.