Cancer screenings in the U.S. have dropped substantially in the last ten years, says a new study. Researchers say that such decline may have severe implications on the healthcare system.

"There is a great need for increased cancer prevention efforts in the U.S., especially for screening as it is considered one of the most important preventive behaviors and helps decrease the burden of this disease on society in terms of quality of life, the number of lives lost and insurance costs," said lead author Tainya Clarke, research associate in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health.

"But despite this, our research has shown that adherence rates for cancer screenings have generally declined with severe implications for the health outlook of our society," Clarke added, in a news release from University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

The data for the study came from National Health Interview Survey (between 1997 and 2010). About, 174,393 people were included in the study analysis, 7,528 of which were employed cancer survivors.

Researchers assessed peoples' adherence to cancer screening recommendations made by the government on colorectal, breast, cervical and prostate cancers. They then compared the cancer screening rates of general population to that of the cancer survivors.

Study analysis showed that only colorectal cancer had the highest rate of cancer screening in the general population.

Cancer screening rates in people who have survived cancer were high. However, cancer screening rates for cervical cancer dropped by 78 percent in the last ten years. Researchers also found that cancer screening among white collar workers was higher than blue collar workers. Clarke said that the research shows the growing disparity between cancer screenings in people who have survived cancer.

The disagreement over screening guidelines by United States Preventive Services Task Force, American Cancer Society and others, along with the decrease in worker insurance rates in the past few years may have contributed to the decrease in screening rates, researchers speculated.

The study is published in the journal Frontiers in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention.