Early cancer diagnosis and insurance coverage

A study to be published in The Lancet Oncology has apparently confirmed the fact that Americans without insurance or insured by Medicaid are much less likely to benefit from early cancer detection.

Read: when they do finally have their cancers diagnosed, it’s already in stage 3 or 4 and their hopes of living another 5 years are extremely low, compared to those who have a cancer diagnosed in early stages.

Of course, for a difference to be found the cancer in question must have an early screening technique, such as those for colon or breast cancer, or have clear early warning signs, such as in bladder cancer or melanoma.

Logically, no difference could be found for those cancers that do not have early screening techniques or signs, such as ovarian or pancreatic cancers.

Although the results of this study come, unfortunately, as no surprise, it was important to quantify this phenomenon and I do hope that this study will find a springboard in this year of presidential elections.

Further reading:

Study Finds Cancer Diagnosis Linked to Insurance at the New York Times.
Late-Stage Diagnosis More Likely Among Uninsured at the American Cancer Society website.

As of this writing, The original article has not yet appeared at The Lancet Oncology website, but it should show up pretty soon. It will be however a pay-article on the web. Try your local library for free access to the original article.

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One Response to “Early cancer diagnosis and insurance coverage”

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