Too Few Americans Are Meeting Cancer Screening Recs


While cancer screening and early detection is crucial to reducing cancer death rates, a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that from 2000 to 2015, the only diagnostic test for cancer that showed a rate increase was colonoscopy for colorectal cancer. According to the CDC, colorectal, breast, cervical, and prostate cancers account for about 40 percent of all new cancer cases and 20 percent of cancer-related deaths in the United States each year.

The report was based on the National Health Interview Survey, which has been used for more than 30 years to measure the country’s progress toward meeting recommended cancer screening goals. Healthy People 2020 objectives for cancer screening include:

  • increasing the number of women 21 to 65 being screened for cervical cancer
  • increasing the number of women 50 to 74 being screened for breast cancer
  • increasing the number of men and women 50 to 75 being screened for colorectal cancer
  • reducing the prostate cancer death rate

Factors that keep people from using available cancer screening tools, according to the CDC, include having:

  • no contact with a doctor in the past year
  • no usual source of health care
  • no health insurance

Source: CDC