Low-Income, Ethnic Minority Residents Have Lower Cancer Screening Rates, Study Finds
People who lack access to health insurance, ethnic minorities, non-native English speakers and low-income people have a lower rate of receiving cancer screenings than other state residents, a report released Wednesday by the University of California-Los Angeles found, the San Jose Mercury News reports. To conduct the study, researchers used data from the California Health Interview Survey -- a survey of more than 55,000 state residents conducted in 2000-2001 -- to compare screening rates for breast, cervical, colorectal and prostate cancers. The study found that:
- Thirty percent of all adults ages 50 and older reported never having a colorectal cancer screening (Feder Ostrov, San Jose Mercury News, 1/15);
- About 23% of Asian women older than age 18 reported never having had a Pap test to screen for cervical cancer;
- About 25% of men older than age 50 were aware of a prostate screening test (Vesely, Chico Enterprise-Record, 1/15); and
- Among adults with regular access to care, 10% had recently had a colorectal cancer screening, 26% of women had a recent mammogram and 67% of women had a recent Pap test (UCLA release, 1/14).
The study indicates that "not enough" residents are being screened for cancer, the Enterprise-Record reports. Susan Babey, study author and research scientist at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, said, "There's a perception out there that if you feel fine, there's no reason for a screening. But once you have symptoms, your chances of survival are much lower" (Chico Enterprise-Record, 1/15). The study was funded by a grant from the California Endowment (San Jose Mercury News, 1/15). The report is available online. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the report. This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.