When it comes to cancer screenings, U.S. adults often are falling behind on recommended tests, according to a recent report by the CDC.
The CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published May 8, found that many adults are not getting screened as recommended for colorectal, breast and cervical cancers. The report looked at screenings for 2013 and revealed testing for certain cancers either fell behind previous rates or showed zero improvement, a CDC press release stated. Researchers used data from the National Health Interview Survey 2013, which tracks progress toward Healthy People 2020 goals for cancer screening.
For breast cancer screenings, researchers found 72.6% of women age 50 to 74 reported recent mammography rates below the Healthy People 2020 baseline goal of 81.1%. Mammography rates were lower among women age 50 to 64 when compared with women age 65 to 74 years, the report said. Rates also were lower among Hispanics verses non-Hispanics. Researchers also found mammography use rose as education and income increased, according to the report.
Although 80.7% of women age 21 to 65 surveyed reported recent cervical screenings, the rate still was below the Healthy People 2020 goal of 93%. Pap tests were lower among Asian, Hispanic, foreign-born women and women age 50 to 74, according to the report.
Colorectal cancer screenings also fell below the Healthy People initiative’s target of 70.5%, with just 58.2% of respondents age 50 to 75 reporting recent testing, according to the report. Colorectal cancer screening was found to be lower among Asian and all Hispanic subgroups except Puerto Ricans.
Positive news in the report included that women in the highest education and income brackets exceeded the Healthy People 2020 target for breast cancer, and the number of people age 65 to 75 who were screened for colorectal cancer nearly reached the screening goal.
Researchers also noted that adults without insurance or a regular source of healthcare tended to have the lowest rates of recommended screenings for cancer. They concluded that better strides are needed to meet screening goals and eliminate disparities.
“It is concerning to see a stall in colorectal cancer screening rates,” Lisa C. Richardson, MD, MPH, director of CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control said in the news release. “We must find new ways to make people and providers aware that getting tested for colorectal cancer could prevent cancer and save their lives.”
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