Many Americans Missing Important Cancer Screenings

Women's bone health, Bon Secours Orthopaedic Institute, bone density screening, dxa, osteoporosis, bone loss, orthopaedics, women's health, imagingDespite the many health benefits of screenings, many people are not having the recommended cancer screenings, according to a new federal report.

Additionally, significant disparities exist among Asian and Hispanic groups. The findings were published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a publication of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2010, screenings rates for breast cancer, cervical cancer and colorectal cancer fell short of federal targets. Breast cancer screening rates were 72.4 percent, compared to the target rate of 81 percent. Cervical cancer screening was 83 percent, about 10 percent less than the target goal. Colorectal cancer screening was 58.6 percent, far below the target of 70.5 percent.

Asians had significantly lower screening rates for all three cancers compared to other groups, the study found. And Hispanics were less likely to be screened for cervical and colorectal cancer compared to non-Hispanics, according to a CDC news release.

“It is troubling to see that not all Americans are getting the recommended cancer screenings and that disparities continue to persist for certain populations. Screening can find breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers at an early state when treatment is more effective,” said Sallyann Coleman King, lead author of the study. “We must continue to monitor cancer screening rates to improve the health of all Americans.”

Federal guidelines recommend the following screenings:

  • Women who are 50 to 74 years old should be screened for breast cancer with a mammogram every two years.
  • Women ages 21 to 65 should be screened for cervical cancer with a Pap test at least every three years.
  • Colorectal cancer screening should begin at age 50 with a high-sensitivity fecal occult blood test, sigmoidoscopy every five years with high-sensitivity FOBT every three years, or a colonoscopy every 10 years.

Always check with your doctor to make sure you are up-to-date on all cancer screenings.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention news release; “Cancer Screening in the United States – 2010,” a report by the CDC and the National Cancer Institute.

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