Although Most People Getting Screened
for Two of the Nation's Deadliest Cancers, Thousands of People Died
Last Year Because They Weren't Screened for Colon or Breast Cancer
adults in the United States have been getting recommended breast and
colorectal cancer screenings, but millions of people still have not had
recommended screening, according to data released in the new Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) monthly report, CDC Vital
the data indicate that more people are receiving recommended cancer
screenings, with colorectal screening increasing from 52 percent in
2002 to 63 percent in 2008. Eighty-one percent of women 50-74 years old
received recommended mammography screening for breast cancer in 2008.
The findings indicated that more than 22 million men and women have not
had a potentially life-saving screening test for colorectal cancer and
about 7 million women age 50 to 74 have not had a recent mammogram.
encouraging to see more adults getting recommended cancer screenings,"
said Dr. Thomas Frieden, CDC director. "But we have more to do,
especially when it comes to getting more people screened for colorectal
cancer, which kills more American non-smokers than any other cancer.
Tragically, one in three people who should be screened for colorectal
cancer have not yet done so; and rates are even lower among Hispanics
report on two of the nation's deadliest cancers, published online at www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns,
used the most recent data available from the
state-level 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey to
determine the number of people receiving the recommended colorectal
cancer and breast cancer screenings. Each month, CDC Vital Signs will
provide the most recent, comprehensive data on one of twelve key
indicators of important health topics.
cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United
States, after lung cancer. Breast cancer is the most commonly found
cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths among U.S. women.
adults had higher screening rates than those uninsured – 66
percent compared to 36 percent.
- State colorectal cancer
screening prevalence varied from 53 percent in Oklahoma to 74 percent
- Highest screening prevalence was
concentrated in northeastern states at 74 percent in 3 states in Maine,
Delaware, and Massachusetts. The lowest prevalence occurred in the
central and western regions in Oklahoma (53 percent), Arkansas (53
percent), and Idaho (54 percent).
- The lowest screening prevalence was among
the uninsured (36 percent)
- Screening prevalence continue to be lower
among all racial and ethnic minorities except forblacks. Factors linked
to low screening prevalence include having a low income (48 percent),
less than a high school education (46 percent), and not having health
insurance (36 percent).
percent of women aged 50-74 years reported having a mammogram within
the past two years.
Indian and Alaska Native women reported the lowest prevalence for
mammography screening (70 percent).
prevalence was lower among women with less than a high school education
(73 percent), and for women with low income (69 percent).
screening prevalence was lowest in the western states in Nevada (72
percent), Mississippi (72 percent), and Idaho (73 percent).
women had a 28 percentage-point higher screening prevalence than
uninsured women (84 percent versus 56 percent). Even among women with
health insurance, 16 percent were not up-to-date with mammograms.
Higher Cancer Screen Rates
studies show that physician recommendations and health insurance
coverage are strongly associated with people getting recommended cancer
screenings. Lack of insurance appears to be one of the primary reasons
for racial and ethnic differences in colon and breast cancer screening
new studies indicate that physician recommendation for screening
remains an important but underused motivator for cancer screenings. The
report concludes that improving cancer screening benchmarks in clinical
practice must be a higher priority for new health care methods. One
example of new practice methods is the patient-centered medical home, a
team-based approach led by a personal physician who provides continuous
and coordinated care throughout a patient's lifetime.
report also noted that the Affordable Care Act is likely to reduce
financial barriers to screening by expanding insurance coverage and
eliminating cost sharing. Additionally, it suggests that the field of
public health can expand surveillance, outreach, case management, and
quality assurance to improve colorectal and breast cancer screening
outcomes of the U.S. population.
of Cancer Screening
2006, more than 139,000 new cases of colorectal cancer were diagnosed
and more than 53,000 people died from this disease. Colorectal cancer
screening tests can find precancerous polyps so they can be removed
before they turn into cancer, thus preventing the disease. Screening
can also detect colorectal cancer at an early stage, when treatment can
be highly effective.
2006, more than 191,000 women were diagnosed with invasive breast
cancer and more than 40,000 died from the disease. Mammograms are the
best method to detect breast cancer early when it is easier to treat
and before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms.
more information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,