Colorectal Cancer News
Colon Cancer Screening Rates Rise but Majority of Uninsured Still Not Screened
The number of Americans being screened for colorectal cancer continues to increase, but the vast majority of the uninsured still do not get screened for this cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer deaths after lung cancer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.
Almost two-thirds of Americans ages 50 to 75, or 62.9 percent, had been screened for the cancer recently, according to 2008 data, up from 51.9 percent in 2002, the CDC reported. But just over one-third of those without health insurance, 35.6 percent, had been screened, the report said.
Hispanics, people with low incomes and little formal education and those in their 50s were also less likely to be screened than other Americans. But screening rates among African-Americans have improved. 62 percent have undergone either endoscopy within the last ten years or a fecal occult blood test within the previous year, compared with 59.8 percent of whites.
“We’ve seen really significant improvement with colorectal cancer mortality since 1975; that’s the good news,” said Dr. Marcus Plescia, director of the CDC’s division on cancer prevention and control and one of the report’s authors. But, he added, “Rates are still not where they should be for a test that can make such a difference.”
The screening data was derived from the 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a telephone survey administered to 201,157 Americans aged 50 to 75.
Rabin, Roni Caryn. Screening: Insurance and Colorectal Cancer. The New York Times. July 26, 2010.