Folasade May, MD, PhD, UCLA Health colon cancer prevention researcher and gastroenterologist, is available for interview on a variety of topics during colorectal cancer awareness month, including:

Why it's so important to not skip colorectal cancer screenings -- even though you may want to?

"Colorectal cancer is second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, but with early detection, it's estimated that more than half of the deaths that occur annually could be prevented," said May.

The pros and cons of the at-home FIT test and whether people can consider it a substitute for colonoscopies

​"The FIT kits are a great screening option because people can do them in the comfort of their own homes -- and only a small percentage of people who do them will need a follow-up colonoscopy at a medical facility,” said May.

"This is a challenging time for many to get to a hospital facility. The FIT kit is a reasonable way for people to stay up-to-date on screenings while maintaining social distancing during COVID19.”

Why is the US Preventive Services Task Force considering lowering ​the recommended age to start screening from 50 to 45?

"Although the overall number of cases of colorectal cancer is decreasing, cases among people under age 50 is increasing by 2% each year,” said May. “We think there are many reasons for early-onset colorectal cancers, but the main ones are lifestyle and chemicals in the environment.”

Why are there disparities in colorectal cancer in people of color and what can be done about it?

"Historically, Black and Brown people have higher uninsured rates and less access to preventive care, screening, and treatment,” said May. “There also has not been adequate information about why colorectal screening must be priority.”

Dr. May is also a member of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and a research collaborator at the UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity. Her research focuses on eliminating patient, provider and system-level barriers to colorectal cancer screenings among low-income Americans, racial/ethnic minorities, and Veterans.