Health News for Senior Citizens
Health News for Seniors
Senior citizens doing quite well at meeting cancer screening goals, CDC reports
CDC Healthy People 2020 reports on cancer screening targets for colorectal, breast and cervical cancers
By Senior Journal staff
May 8, 2015 – Americans are not doing very well at being screened for key cancers, says at new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Senior citizens, however, are doing surprisingly well. And, too, the CDC released another report today that shows seniors doing much better than younger people at taking their meds – or at least we are not skipping them due to cost.
There was no real progress in the U.S. at meeting the Healthy People 2020 cancer screening targets for colorectal, breast and cervical cancers, according to data published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. For 2013, screening for these types of cancers either fell behind previous rates or showed no improvement compared with 2010.
Mammography use remained essentially stable, Pap test use declined, and CRC test use was essentially unchanged.
Some subgroups attained or neared 2020 targets. The proportion of women in the highest education and income groups who were screened for breast cancer exceeded the target; the percentage of privately insured women screened was near the target value.
The proportion of persons aged 65–75 years who were screened for CRC also was near the target value.
Those furthest below targets were generally those without insurance or a usual source of care. For these groups, screening use was 42–53 percentage points below breast and CRC screening targets, and approximately 30 percentage points below the cervical cancer screening target.
Reported screening for all three cancers was similar between whites and blacks and lower for Hispanics, with variation among racial and ethnic subgroups.
However, 30% of senior citizens aged 65–75 years reported no recent cervical cancer and CRC screening, as did nearly one fourth of persons aged 51–65 years
Although USPSTF does not recommend routine screening for cervical cancer among average-risk women aged >65 years or for CRC among adults aged 76–85 years. It might be indicated for some adults in these older groups who were not screened adequately when they were in a younger age group for which routine screening was recommended.
Screening is effective for detecting breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers early when the cancers can be more easily treated and deaths averted. Healthy People 2020 established targets for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening in the United States. Disparities in screening use related to several demographic and health care access factors have been observed.
● Mammography use in women aged 50–74 years was 72.6% (target 81.1%).
● Pap test use in women aged 21–65 years was 80.7% (target 93.0%). and
● CRC screening in persons aged 50–75 years was 58.2% (target 70.5%).
Compared with 2000, mammography use was unchanged, Pap test use was lower and CRC screening was higher, although unchanged since 2010. Persons without a usual source of care or insurance generally were furthest below Healthy People 2020 targets.
What are the implications for public health practice?
Progress toward Healthy People 2020 targets requires efforts to increase breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening use overall. Evidence-based interventions, such as client and provider reminders and others, can increase screening use.
Other key findings from the report:
● Among adults in the age groups recommended for screening, about 1 in 5 women reported not being up-to-date with cervical cancer screening, about 1 in 4 women reported not being up-to-date with breast cancer screening, and about 2 in 5 adults reported not being up-to-date with colorectal cancer screening.
● Colorectal cancer testing was essentially unchanged in 2013 compared with 2010. Pap test use in women age 21-65 years was lower than 2000, and the number of mammography screenings was stagnant, showing very little change from previous years.
● Adults without insurance or a usual source of healthcare generally had the lowest screening test use. For example, fewer than one quarter of adults in these groups reported recent colorectal cancer screening, compared with more than 60 percent of adults with private insurance or a usual source of healthcare. More efforts are needed to achieve cancer screening goals and reduce screening disparities.
Researchers reviewed data from the National Health Interview Survey 2013, which is used to monitor progress toward Healthy People 2020 goals for cancer screening based on the most recent U.S. Preventive Services Task Force guidelines.
The full report, “Cancer Screening Test Use – United States, 2013,” can be found at www.cdc.gov/mmwr. For more information about CDC’s efforts in cancer prevention and control, visit www.cdc.gov/cancer.
CDC’s Efforts to Increase Cancer Screening
The Colorectal Cancer Control Program provides funding to 25 states and 4 tribes across the U.S. The program supports population-based screening efforts and provides colorectal cancer screening services to low-income men and women age 50–64 years who are underinsured or uninsured for screening, when no other insurance is available
The Screen for Life: National Colorectal Cancer Action Campaign informs men and women aged 50 years and older about the importance of having regular colorectal cancer screening tests.
CDC has a new free continuing medical education program for clinicians about colorectal cancer screening at http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/quality/.
The National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program provides access to breast and cervical cancer screening services to underserved women in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, 5 U.S. territories, and 11 tribes.
Senior Citizens Recommendations
These are screenings recommended for senior citizens
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