Racial, ethnic disparities in cancer tests

Jan. 27, 2012 at 12:19 AM
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ATLANTA, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- The number of U.S. adults getting cancer screening tests is not meeting targets, especially among Asian and Hispanic Americans, federal health officials found.

A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, found in 2010, breast cancer screening rates were 72.4 percent, below the Healthy People 2020target of 81 percent; cervical cancer screening was 83 percent, below the target of 93 percent; and colorectal cancer screening was 58.6 percent, below the target of 70.5 percent.

Screening rates for all three cancers were significantly lower among Asians -- 64.1 percent for breast cancer, 75.4 percent for cervical cancer and 46.9 percent for colorectal cancer -- compared to other groups, the study found.

Hispanics were less likely to be screened for cervical cancer (78.7 percent) and colorectal cancer (46.5 percent, when compared with non-Hispanics at 83.8 percent and 59.9 percent, respectively, the report said.

"It is troubling to see that not all Americans are getting the recommended cancer screenings and that disparities continue to persist for certain populations," lead author Dr. Sallyann Coleman King, of the CDC's Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, said in a statement. "Screening can find breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers at an early stage when treatment is more effective."

The report was published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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