A study funded by the National Institutes of Health found that rates for colon cancer screening increased by nearly 40% after complimentary stool kits were mailed to patients’ homes. The study was aimed at increasing screenings for colon cancer among uninsured, low-income, and Latino patients. The results were recently published in the journal BMC Cancer.

As part of the Strategies and Opportunity to STOP Colon Cancer in Priority Populations (STOP CRC), Gloria Coronado, PhD, and colleagues sent 213 patients from two community health clinics an introductory letter written in English and Spanish. Two weeks later, the patients received a stool kit and a reminder three weeks later if the test wasn’t returned. A third clinic with 656 patients served as a control group.

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Among the patients who received a stool kit, 101 of them also received an additional follow-up phone call. Compared to 1% of patients in the control group completing a stool test, 39% of patients who received the mailing completed the test and 37% of patients who received the test and additional phone call completed the test.

An on-going analysis of patient interviews is currently underway and a multi-clinic study with a wide range of patients is planned for the future.

For more information, visit the BMC Cancer website.