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Friday, May 8, 2015

CDC: Americans Often Skipping Screening Tests For Breast, Cervical And Colon Cancer

On its website, NBC News (5/8, Fox) reports that “Americans are still often skipping screening tests for breast, cervical and colon cancer, a new government survey finds.” The survey indicated that “more than a quarter of women eligible for mammograms are not getting them on time, nearly 20 percent are missing Pap smears and fewer than 60 percent of adults have had a recent colon cancer screening.” In a statement, Dr. Lisa Richardson, director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, said, “It is concerning to see a stall in colorectal cancer screening rates.” Dr. Richardson added, “We must find new ways to make people and providers aware that getting tested for colorectal cancer could prevent cancer and save their lives.”

TIME (5/8, Sifferlin) reports that “the CDC looked at data from the 2013 National Health Interview Survey and compared the screening rates to the target numbers for ‘Healthy People 2020,’ a national disease prevention initiative that has based cancer screening goals on the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines.” The CDC found that “the number of mammography screenings remained fairly unchanged from previous years, whereas Pap test use among women between the ages of 21 to 65 was lower than it was in 2000.” Meanwhile, “colorectal cancer screening was unchanged in 2013 compared to what it was in 2010.”

According to the NPR (5/8, Hensley) “Shots” blog, “the CDC report...identified notable disparities in screening by income, insurance status, race and ethnicity.” The report indicated that “lack of insurance and low income, in particular, hinder compliance with screening recommendations.”

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