Cancer Screening Goals Not Being Met by General Population

Cancer survivors meet U.S. Healthy People 2010 goals for all screening except cervical cancer

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- In the United States, the general population only meets the recommended cancer screening goals for colorectal cancer, while cancer survivors meet all requirements except for cervical cancer screening, according to a study published online Dec. 27 in Frontiers in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention.

Tainya C. Clarke, M.P.H., from the University of Miami, and colleagues examined trends in adherence to recommended screening in the United States. The Healthy People 2010 goals were used as a measure of desired adherence. Adherence to cancer screening was examined using National Health Interview Survey data from 1997 to 2010 for 174,393 participants aged 18 years or older. The analyses included 119,374 adults with no cancer history, representing 100 million working Americans, and 7,528 working cancer survivors, representing 3.8 million U.S. workers.

The researchers found that, in the U.S. population, with the exception of the Healthy People 2010 goal for colorectal screening, all other recommended cancer screenings decreased during the study period. The Healthy People 2010 goals were met by cancer survivors for all screening exams, except cervical cancer screening. Compared with the general population, cancer survivors had elevated screening rates. Compared with blue collar survivors, higher screening rates were found among white-collar and service occupations.

"[Cancer survivors] also illustrated a downward trend for most screenings in the last three years of the study period," the authors write. "This declining trend foreshadows a future negative impact on mortality from cancers of the breast and cervix as well as increased morbidity associated with a later diagnosis of prostate cancer."

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