Navigation Links
Most Medicare Recipients Ignore Colorectal Cancer Screening
Date:12/10/2007

Only one-quarter seek lifesaving tests, new research find

MONDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of Americans in Medicare aren't getting screened for colorectal cancer, a major killer, even though the screening is free, a new study finds.

In fact, the percentage of enrollees in Medicare, the federal health insurance program for older Americans, getting screening tests such as colonoscopies has declined since the program began paying for them, the study said.

An assessment of 153,469 Medicare members identified in 1998 found that 29.2 percent of them were screened for colorectal cancer between 1991 and 1997, when Medicare began paying for screening tests. Only 25.4 were screened between 1998 and 2004, after screening was covered by Medicare, the study found.

Failure to get those tests costs lives, said study author Dr. Gregory Cooper, interim chief of gastroenterology at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland.

"We know that the survival curve is strongly related to the state at which the cancer is diagnosed," he said. "For the mostly fairly healthy people in this cohort, early detection would bring a benefit."

Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that 147,000 new cases will be diagnosed in this country this year, with 57,000 deaths.

The new study, published online Dec. 10 in the journal Cancer, looked at a variety of screening tests. They included barium enemas, methods of detecting fecal blood, and colonoscopy, which is regarded as the most definitive test. By detecting polyps before they become malignant, a colonoscopy can help prevent cancer. Colonoscopies are recommended every 10 years for adults, starting at age 50.

The public, doctors and the Medicare system itself are all responsible in different ways for failures to screen for colorectal cancer, said Dr. Otis W. Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society.

"Many physicians do not have a preventive mindset as yet," Brawley said. "People go to the doctor overwhelmingly because they are hurt and have a medical problem. No one goes to the doctor with a preventive intention."

Medicare does allow for an initial patient visit with a new doctor, "but it is designed to be all discussion, not for physical examinations," Brawley said. "During that discussion, they [patients] may be told that they have this benefit, but it is up to them to ask for it."

And there's something about colorectal cancer that makes people shy away from discussing it, Brawley said.

"Prostate cancer screening has not been shown to save lives, and people ask for it," he said. "Colon cancer screening has been shown to save lives, and people don't ask for it."

The ultimate responsibility lies with the patient, Cooper said. "If the physician doesn't bring it up, often the patient has to remind them," he said.

The new study findings are troubling, in light of research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association last December that found that since Medicare began paying for colon-cancer screenings, more patients' tumors are being diagnosed at an early, more curable stage.

The new findings also don't reflect a federal report released in March that found that national goals for colorectal cancer screenings are on target with the Healthy People 2010 initiative.

More information

Colorectal cancer screening is explained by the U.S. National Cancer Institute.



SOURCES: Gregory Cooper, M.D., interim chief of gastroenterology, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland; Otis W. Brawley, M.D., chief medical officer, American Cancer Society, Atlanta; Dec. 10, 2007, Cancer, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. GAO Report Confirms: Medicare Underpays for Anesthesia Services; Nurse Anesthetists Assure Seniors Access to Safe Anesthesia Care
2. Texas Supreme Court Rules Against Medicare HMOs in Hospital Reimbursement Fight
3. Owner and Operator of Florida Durable Medical Equipment Company Convicted of Medicare Fraud
4. More than 10,000 Medicare Patients in Montana Could Be Hit by Proposed Cuts to Home Oxygen Therapy; Access to Power Wheelchairs Would Also Decrease
5. Medicare Changes Didnt Alter Cancer Care
6. Just Completed Studies Reveal Impact of New Medicare Reimbursement Regulations
7. AHCA: Rescinding $2.7 Billion Medicare Cuts Top Issue for Fall Legislative Agenda
8. University of Texas Study Details Lengthy Payment Delays for Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Claims, Confirming Need for Legislative Fix
9. Medicare Spending Caps Cause Seniors to Stop Meds
10. Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit, Nonprofit Hospitals, Ambulatory Surgery Centers, Statistical Methods, and Pay-For-Performance Highlighted In the Latest INQUIRY Journal
11. Medicare Every Diabetic Counts Project Gears Up for Kick-Off
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Most Medicare Recipients Ignore Colorectal Cancer Screening
(Date:3/1/2017)... ... March 01, 2017 , ... Cotton Incorporated and PurThread Technologies, ... knit and woven fabrics. , Retail brands and consumers alike continue to ... of cotton. Cotton Incorporated has developed cotton-rich fabrics with PurThread that offer ...
(Date:3/1/2017)... ... March 01, 2017 , ... Grund® America is ... and Bath Rugs launching at the March 2017 International Housewares Show in Chicago (Grund ... which are made with the highest quality,100% OEKO-TEX and GOTS Organic Cotton material. ...
(Date:3/1/2017)... ... 2017 , ... NYC based Integrated practice Living Well Medical, a long time ... of Orthopaedic Surgeon Dr. Donald E. Heitman. Dr. Heitman is a native ... Bachelor of Science degree in biology. He then obtained his medical degree from New ...
(Date:3/1/2017)... ... 2017 , ... “McFarnia”: a suspenseful tale of a father who vanishes without ... mysterious disappearance. “McFarnia” is the creation of published author Tony Pierzchala, a former Army ... as a Chaplain with Transport for Christ at a truck stop in the Greensboro ...
(Date:3/1/2017)... ... 01, 2017 , ... “Our Pure Need of Obedience to the Law of God”: a message ... Pure Need of Obedience to the Law of God” is the creation of published author ... and his wife, Anika, and children have since dedicated their lives to spreading God’s word ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/1/2017)... , Mar 01, 2017 Research and Markets has ... Diagnostics Tests for Cancer & Infectious Diseases" report to their offering. ... Did you know? ... Marketing, U.S. Breast/Colon at Genomic Health, Inc.. - Beijing Wantai Biological ... for the production of infectious diseases diagnostics in China ...
(Date:3/1/2017)... March 1, 2017  The world,s largest pharmaceutical event ... May 16 - 18, 2017. Utilizing the strength ... the leading fine and specialty chemical event, CPhI North ... educational programs: CPhI Connect, focusing on pharmaceuticals, and InformEx ... Powered by the expertise of the American Chemical ...
(Date:3/1/2017)... 2017  The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) issued ... to advance the nomination of Seema Verma ... Administrator: "The popular Medicare Part D ... health care. By offering an abundance of competing plan ... like pharmacy networks and home delivery, the program is ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: