Breaking Barriers

AHOSKIE – A 2015 study pinpointed three “hotspots” across the United States where rates of colon and colorectal cancer mortality rates were higher in comparison to the rest of the country. One of these hotspots included the Roanoke-Chowan area, and in an effort to combat the problem the Carolina Cancer Screening Initiative (CCSI) was launched in collaboration with UNC doctors and local health partners.

By Holly Taylor

AHOSKIE – A 2015 study pinpointed three “hotspots” across the United States where rates of colon and colorectal cancer mortality rates were higher in comparison to the rest of the country. One of these hotspots included the Roanoke-Chowan area, and in an effort to combat the problem the Carolina Cancer Screening Initiative (CCSI) was launched in collaboration with UNC doctors and local health partners.

The Roanoke-Chowan region along with five other surrounding NC counties as well as several counties to the north in Virginia were identified as an area with high cancer death rates. CCSI was developed in order to provide people better access to preventative cancer screenings. 

“This particular initiative is really about getting screening done in rural areas and vulnerable populations,” explained Dr. Dan Reuland, a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and Director of CCSI. 

“Although there are many other issues related to cancer screening, we chose to focus strategically, at least initially, on colon cancer or colorectal cancer screening, in part because there’s a pretty good consensus we should be doing it more than we do,” Reuland continued. “There’s also evidence that underserved populations, particularly in rural areas, have lower rates of screening.”

Read more here.