Research Explores Power Of Offering Colon Cancer Screening Options
Researchers find that when given a choice of methods, more people will opt to get screened for colon cancer. Meanwhile, a separate study found that insurance coverage of lung cancer screenings for high-risk patients could prevent -- at a low cost -- thousands of deaths annually.
KQED: Talking About Choices May Encourage Colon Cancer Screening
Although about 50,000 people in the U.S. died from colorectal cancer (CRC) last year, as many as half of those deaths could have been prevented by routine screening. ... The problem is getting people to undergo screening can be a bit of a challenge. ... But now doctors are looking at the psychology of how they talk to patients to figure out what might get the most people to get on board with screening (Menghrajani, 4/9).
NPR: Colon Cancer Screening More Likely When People Are Given A Choice
When given a choice, 69 percent of people get screened for colon cancer within a year, according to a new study. By contrast, just 38 percent of people got a colonoscopy when their doctor recommended that method alone. Compare that with the 67 percent of people who did the fecal blood test when that was the only test recommended. … This new study suggests that by pushing colonoscopies, doctors may be missing out on a chance to get people screened, especially if patients belong to an ethnic or racial minority (Shute, 4/9).
Medscape: Colorectal Cancer Screening: Providing Options For Patients
The current universal recommendation of colonoscopy may actually reduce adherence to colorectal cancer (CRC) screening recommendations, especially among racial/ethnic minorities. Therefore, the CRC screening recommendations should allow for patient preferences, the results of a study suggest (Pullen, 4/9).
MedPage Today: Patients Want Choice Of Colon Cancer Screen
Moreover, the researchers found that the common practice of advocating screening with colonoscopy reduced adherence among racial and ethnic minorities in their study. National guidelines vary in their recommendations for colon cancer screening; some leave the choice of test up to the clinician and patient while others favor colonoscopy (Pal, 4/9).
Meanwhile, new research supports coverage of lung cancer screening -
The Hill: Study Recommends Coverage Of Lung Cancer Screening
Having insurance companies cover lung cancer screenings for high-risk patients could prevent thousands of deaths every year at a low cost, according to a new study the policy journal Health Affairs is calling a "first-of-its-kind actuarial study." The study examined the costs and benefits of providing lung cancer screenings to smokers and long-term former smokers between the ages of 50 and 64. Assuming about 9 million people a year would take advantage of the benefit if it was offered, the model found that the screening would cost insurance companies about $247 per member tested annually — less than $1 per commercially insured member per month (Pecquet, 4/9).
In the background -
The Fiscal Times: Doctors Urge Rationing 45 Common Screening Tests
Last week, physician groups representing nearly half of America’s doctors issued guidelines that would limit Americans' access to allegedly unnecessary medical tests and procedures. The public reaction was noticeable for the one thing that was missing -- a public outcry against rationing. … While the medical societies took on a few hot button issues like the frequency of colonoscopies for older adults, it avoided mammography, which during the debate over health care reform led critics to accuse the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) of rationing because it recommended against routine mammography in women under 50. Why didn't the latest recommendations generate a similar outcry? The physician groups' recommendations were greeted with enthusiasm by the very same "rationers" that had backed USPST in the mammography dust-up (Goozner, 4/9).