Late-stage cancers could have been prevented early on

A report prepared by U.S. health officers states that more than half of cervical cancers, colorectal cancers and one third of breast cancers in the United States are diagnosed only in the late stages, although there are a number of screening tests that are already developed to identify them. These types of cancers could have been treated if diagnosed early.

The U.S. health officers have mentioned that researchers should develop more reliable and accurate screening tests to detect cancers at an early stage. Doing this would save more lives and could possibly lead into the discovery of cancer prevention methods.

Dr. Marcus Plescia of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the report from the U.S. health officers have caused great concern. According to Dr. Plescia, such cancers could have been prevented if only they were diagnosed early on. It is very saddening, knowing there are already available treatments developed years ago yet the problem lies in detecting preventable cancers.

A group of researchers at the CDC began their study of the rates of cervical cancer, breast cancer and colorectal cancer by stage and demographical features in different U.S. states. Their research showed that late-stage cancer, specifically colorectal cancer, is more prominent among black men and women. An in-depth discussion of the research findings showed that breast cancer at the later stages appeared to be highest among women at the age of 70 to 79 and among black women. The rates increased with age, added the research findings. For this specific research, CDC gathered national data on new cases of cancer from their different registries. On the other hand, late-stage cervical cancer affected women mostly around 50s to 80s. Cervical cancer targeted Hispanic women, in contrast to breast cancer which affected black women.

Demographical location plays a vital role in connection to the regularity of cancer screenings and diagnosis. Cancer tests and identification rates are highly dependent on where people live.

It shows that Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Delaware and Illinois are among the places where late-stage colorectal cancer was highest. Other places include Pennsylvania, Nebraska, New Jersey and Louisiana.  Late-stage breast cancer cases hit frequently in Kansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Washington, Tennessee, District of Columbia, Alabama and Louisiana. Lastly, cervical cancer cases are most prominent in Nevada, New Mexico, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Arkansas, Illinois and Mississippi.

Positive developments will be expected because of President Barack Obama’s signing of the new health reform law. The said law, which was signed by the President last March, involves recommended cancer screening tests that would help people pay for cancer screening tests by eliminating cost barriers. Screening tests are very important as these can find polyps or precancerous changes. Polyps can be removed before it becomes life-threatening. It was found out that colorectal cancer has caused death to nearly 53,000 people every year. Colorectal cancer is by far the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the country.

Lung cancer takes the number one spot. Nearly 12,000 women in the United States every year are detected with having cervical cancer which, according to CDC, is the easiest gynecologic cancer to prevent through a series of screening tests. So far, mammograms are still the most effective screening tests to diagnose breast cancer.

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