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More than 22 million adults have not had screening tests for colon cancer, and more than 7 million women have not had a recent mammogram to screen for breast cancer as recommended, according to reports in a new monthly scientific publication called CDC Vital Signs.
About a third of people are not getting colon cancer screening, which can detect the disease early when it is most treatable. This could be because they don’t know they can get colon cancer, they don’t have insurance or a doctor (a more likely case among Latinos), or their doctor hasn’t recommended screening.
Some women are not getting mammograms as recommended. About one of five women between the ages of 50 and 74 has not had a mammogram in the past two years. Latinas get screened at an even less frequent rate.
The CDC reports suggests these efforts to help:
- Health departments can find out why some groups of people are not being screened, and create programs to solve these problems and increase screening.
- Doctors and other health care providers can tell patients who should be screened about test options, make sure patients who can’t afford tests know about free screening services in their area, and remind patients when a screening test is due.
- People can ask their doctor about getting screened, get screened as recommended, and see their doctor promptly if a screening test shows there might be a problem.
Latinos, please watch the PSAs here or below to see why breast and colon cancer screening is so important: