CDC: Cancer Screening Rates Improving, But Still Lagging

A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that although cancer screening rates have increased in the United States, they remain below national targets. 

The study, published in Preventing Chronic Disease, used National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data from 2000 through 2015 to examine trends in the prevalence of breast, cervical, colorectal, and prostate cancer screening per the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations.  

Respondents were asked about Papanicolaou (Pap) testing and hysterectomy for cervical cancer screening, mammograms for breast cancer screening, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing for prostate cancer screening, endoscopic examinations, and fecal occult blood tests for screening for colorectal cancer (CRC). 

CRC screening was the only test that increased during the study period—rising to just above 60%; however, the 2018 screening target of age-appropriate individuals is 80%.  

Similarly, Pap test exceeded 80%, but fell below the 93% and mammography exceeded 70%, but the target is 81%. Rates for PSA testing declined significantly between 2008 and 2013 by 9.2%, but remained relatively stable from 2013 to 2015, dropping 4.5% overall. 

Factors related to below-target screening included no contact with a doctor in the past year, no usual source of healthcare, and no insurance coverage. 

Read more about the American Cancer Society’s updated colorectal screening guidelines. 

Read about lung cancer risk models. 

Read about the cost-effectiveness of breast cancer screenings. 

Source: Cancer