Not Enough Americans Being Screened for Cancer

Rates short of Healthy People 2020 targets for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening

THURSDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. residents are not being screened for cancer at the recommended levels, and screening rates vary by several demographic factors, according to research published in the Jan. 27 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.

Carrie N. Klabunde, Ph.D., of the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey to assess the use of recommended cancer screening tests by U.S. residents, identify population subsets not receiving the full benefits of screening, and target interventions that could boost screening rates in those groups.

The researchers found that screening rates for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer fell short of the Healthy People 2020 screening goals. All three types of cancer screening were significantly lower in Asians than in white and black populations, and Hispanics were less likely to undergo cervical and colorectal cancer screening. People were more likely to be screened if they had higher education, greater access to health care, and longer duration of U.S. residence.

"Continued monitoring of screening rates helps to assess progress toward meeting Healthy People 2020 targets and to develop strategies to reach those targets," the authors write.

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