home
RSS
July 6th, 2010
01:55 PM ET

CDC: Millions more cancer screenings could save thousands of lives

While most adults in the United States are getting the recommended screenings for breast and colorectal cancer - two of the deadliest cancers in the U.S. - the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that thousands more deaths could have been prevented last year if more people had received the recommended screenings.

Colorectal cancer is the second deadliest cancer in the U.S. after lung cancer. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women outside of skin cancer. Current screening guidelines are that adults age 50 and older get colorectal cancer screening– sooner if they have a family history or health issue that merits earlier screening. Current guidance for mammogram screening is that women aged 50 to 74 get mammograms every two years.

The CDC released data Tuesday in their new monthly report "CDC Vital Signs," revealing that colorectal screening increased from 52 percent in 2002 to 63 percent in 2008, and 81 percent of women aged 50-74 years old received mammograms in 2008. But researchers found that more than 22 million men and women have not had colorectal cancer screening and about 7 million women age 50 to 74 haven't had the suggested mammogram screening.

"The bottom line is that more than 20 million need to be screened and it would save thousands of deaths each year," said  CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden.

Adults with health insurance had higher colorectal screening rates than the uninsured: 66 percent compared with 36 percent. Racial and ethnic minorities also showed lower screening rates, except for blacks.

American Indian and Alaska native women showed the lowest rates of mammogram screenings at 70 percent. Insured women had much higher rates of screening - 84 percent– versus uninsured women with 56 percent receiving screenings. Sixteen percent of women with insurance were not current with mammogram screenings.

Health insurance coverage, and physician recommendations for screenings are positive influences to people getting the recommended cancer screenings. While lack of insurance, and lower socioeconomic positions limit screenings.

The report suggests that the Affordable Care Act, passed earlier this year, may reduce roadblocks to screening by expanding insurance coverage to the uninsured. Preventative screenings are a critical tool for catching cancers and treating them as early as possible.


soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. jen58

    first off, stop telling people they only need colorectal screenings at age 50 - there's an entire world of under 50 CRC victims out there - many of whom were told repeatedly by doctors you got nothing more than constipation or the like - or the doctors that don't know anything about genetic cancer that tell people oh just get checked out every 3-5 yrs - you'll be fine - until 3.5 years in and you end up with multiple tumors in your colon that nearly kill you - stop doing studies and farkin' cure this disease already!

    July 6, 2010 at 16:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lis

      its true people need to get screened at all ages! i just turned 30 and 2 years ago a hs classmate of mine passed of colon cancer. so never too young to screen

      July 8, 2010 at 15:12 | Report abuse |
  2. rv

    That is very true, my husband was 48 when he had his screenings due to complains of changes in bowel movements. The doctor said nothing is wrong..come back in 5 years. He is now 53 diagnosed in October of 09 with gastric cancer and receiving palliative care.

    July 6, 2010 at 16:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Phillll

    People have to shut their mouths and stop eating as much as they do. I live in Boston and the majority of people's asses is ballooning to UNIMAGINABLE proportions. People! STOP EATING LIKE POLAR BEARS AND START EATING LIKE HUMAN BEINGS!

    July 6, 2010 at 19:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lis

      haha sooo true!!! i live in RI and its crazy how people eat. i get disgusted esp seeing all these overweight kids eww! Eat healthier people! no fried greasy laden crap! eat more fruits and veggies throughout the day and dont eat after 7pm!!

      July 8, 2010 at 15:14 | Report abuse |
  4. Rachel

    Hey, not everyone wants to live 100 years. Many of us who forgo these screenings are willing to take our chances, so please, Doc, stop acting like my Mom and respect the decisions I make about my health.

    July 6, 2010 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • maria_maria

      Hey Rachel,

      When you are actually dying from cancer will you still be so stoic? Or will you run up hospital costs into the tens of thousands to try and stay around? Screening saves healthcare dollars and lives. So basically, if you get cancer, one that could have been prevented if you had been screened, please dont seek treatment.

      THe message here is that screening is essential – it not only finds cancers but pre-cancers that can save lives and billions of dollars in healthcare costs

      July 7, 2010 at 05:00 | Report abuse |
  5. Karen

    Due to Dr. Nortin Hadler, MD, Professor of Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, cancer screening does not work at all. It brings a lot of false positives and fear. The only one who benefits of cancer screening is the medical industry. The focus should be on preventing cancer by a healthy lifestyle. Listen here, http://bit.ly/bamO14 to an interesting podcast with Dr. Hadler about cancer screening tests.

    July 7, 2010 at 03:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Tammy

    I'm all for cancer..

    July 7, 2010 at 05:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. LOUISE

    "STOP EATING LIKE POLAR BEARS AND START EATING LIKE HUMAN BEINGS" IS THE BEST ADVICE I'VE GOTTEN IN A LONG TIME. I AM GUILTY OF HAVING A "BALLOON-BUTT" BECAUSE I EAT TOO MUCH AND I SIT TOO MUCH; BOTH OF WHICH I CHOOSE TO DO. I ALSO ALLOW TOO MANY SITUATIONS TO STRESS ME OUT, IN WHICH AGAIN I CAN CHOOSE TO RESPOND PROPERLY TO ANYGIVEN SITUATION. IF WE AMERICANS DON'T CHANGE OUR LIFE STYLES, OUR HEALTHCARE SYSTEM WILL BE DEVASTATED, ALONG WITH OUR QUALITY OF LIFE.

    July 8, 2010 at 16:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. linda d newby

    hope haven created for portal prince hattains

    July 9, 2010 at 19:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Edmundo Sansoucy

    best foundation brush

    http://www.N6mvKNEF5z.com/N6mvKNEF5z

    September 11, 2016 at 10:02 | Report abuse | Reply

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.