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Insurance status linked to cancer outcomes
Date:12/19/2007

breast and colorectal cancer based on analyses of the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the NCDB. Among the reports findings:

  • For all cancer sites combined, patients who were uninsured were 1.6 times as likely to die in five years as those with private insurance.

  • The relationship between access to care and cancer outcomes is particularly striking for several cancers which can be prevented or detected earlier by screening and for which there are effective treatments, including breast and colorectal cancer. At every level of education, individuals with health insurance were about twice as likely as those without health insurance to have had mammography or colorectal cancer screening.

For breast cancer, the article reports that:

  • Women without health insurance are about half as likely as those with private health insurance to have received a mammogram in the past two years (38.1 percent of uninsured women versus 74.5 percent of insured women age 40-64), a pattern seen for all race/ethnicities studied (white, African American and Hispanic) at all levels of education.

  • Twenty to 30 percent of uninsured women were diagnosed with late stage (stage III/IV) breast cancer, compared with ten to 15 percent of privately insured patients.

  • Uninsured women were also less likely to be diagnosed with Stage I (early) breast cancer than privately insured women. In white women, where this disparity was greatest, almost 50 percent of those who were privately insured were diagnosed with early-stage cancer, compared to less than 35 percent of those who were uninsured.

  • Among white women diagnosed with all stages of breast cancer, 76 percent of those who were uninsured survived five years, compared with 89 percent of those with private insurance; among African Americans, five-year survival rates were 65 percent for uninsured and 81 percent for privately insured women; among Hispanics, five-yea
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Contact: David Sampson
david.sampson@cancer.org
American Cancer Society
Source:Eurekalert

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