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Indianapolis doctor launches Latino Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month campaign

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A local doctor is using Colon Cancer Awareness Month to spread the word of prevention to the underserved Latino community.

“Terrible numbers of mortality, so when we see these patients are in advanced stages there’s not much that we can do that at that stage,” Dr. Eleazar Montalván-Sánchez said.

It’s a fight against colon cancer.

“Unfortunately, for Hispanics and Latinx population these interventions have not been that successful,” Montalván-Sánchez said.

According to studies gathered by the National Library of Medicine, Latino adults are more likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer at later stages compared to white adults.

Dr. Eleazar Montalván-Sánchez is a resident physician at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

“Most of the information is in English and most of our population in Indianapolis speak Spanish, so I think that’s one of the barriers as well providers that don’t speak Spanish is another of the barriers,” Montalván-Sánchez said

“When we see these patients that are admitted to the hospital in advanced stages when there’s something that could prevent like screening that’s something to raise awareness for us. That’s something that has to change,” Montalván-Sánchez said.

Montalván-Sánchez says at least half of his patients do not know enough about colon cancer prevention.

So, he’s started the Latino Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month campaign. It will focus on reaching out to the community through social media.

There will also be an online portal that will provide colon cancer screening information and access to primary care physicians.

“Latinos and Hispanics one of the best interventions for recruitment is by social media and T.V. awareness,” Montalván-Sánchez said.

“If we detect like cancer, colorectal cancer, at early stages it could be more than 95% survival rates, so that’s something that moves us and our team to move to do this,” Montalván-Sánchez said.

According Montalván-Sánchez, the website will be up and running within the next few days.