US Cancer Screening Below National Targets

The percentage of people screened forcancer in the US remains below national targets for 2020, with rates lower among Asian and Hispanic Americans than other groups, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) released on Friday. The report shows that in 2010, the screening rate for breast cancer was 72.4%, compared to the 2020 national target of 81%, for cervical cancer it was 83%, compared to a target of 93%, and for colorectal it was 58.6% percent, compared to a target of 70.5%. The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), an independent panel of health professionals, recommends screening tests for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers. As part of its Healthy People 2020, the US Department of Health and Human Services has set 10-year national targets for such recommended tests, and identifies the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) as the way to measure progress. For breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening, the USPSTF recommends that: Women aged 50 to 74 years have a mammogram every two years, Women who have been sexually active or aged 21 to 65 years have a Pap test at least every three years, and Average-risk men and women aged 50 - 75 years, should either (1) do a high-sensitivity fecal occult blood test (FOBT) at home every year; (2) undergo sigmoidoscopy every five years with FOBT every three years; or (3) undergo colonoscopy every 10 years. Data from the NHIS allows researchers to assess people's use of currently recommended screening tests by age, race, ethnicity, education, how long they have lived in the US, and who...
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