More older Americans are undergoing screening for colon cancer, but the rates for breast cancer screening remain the same, according to a government report released on July 6, 2010.
The best “treatment” of cancer is preventing its occurrence in the first place or detecting it early when it may be most treatable. However, many people do not undergo the recommended screening—possibly due to lack of insurance coverage or lack of information.
The CDC conducted a national telephone survey in 2008 of approximately 200,000 people between the ages of 50 and 75. About 63% of respondents had undergone the recommended colon cancer screening—up from 52% in 2002. This was a 21% increase in screening compliance.
Breast cancer screening rates have traditionally been higher—about 81% of 120,000 women surveyed had undergone mammography within the past two years; however, this rate did not reflect an improvement, as it has remained the same since 2000.
Survey results indicated that screening rates were higher among people with insurance coverage and with more education. Rates were highest in the New England area.