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CDC: Racial and Ethnic Disparities Found in U.S. Cancer Screening Rates

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The number of Americans being screened for cancer are significantly low, particularly among racial and ethnic minorities, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, released Thursday, found the percentage of U.S. citizens screened for cancer remains below national targets, with significant disparities among Asians and Latinos.

In 2010, breast cancer screening rates were 72.4 percent, which is below the medically suggested target of 81 percent. Cervical cancer screening was 83 percent, failing to reach the target of 93 percent, and colorectal cancer screening was 58.6 percent, below the target of 70.5, according to the weekly report

Asians in the United States were found to have lower rates in all three cancer screening types. Breast cancers screening were only 64.1 percent, and screenings for cervical cancer were 75.4 percent. Studies also found that colorectal cancer screenings among Asians were in the 46.5 percentile.

Cancer screenings rates for Hispanics were even lower, at 78.7 percent for cervical screenings, and 46.5 percent for colorectal cancer screenings.

According to the CDC, the statistics surrounding these various cancers are just as troubling. In 2007, which is the most recent years numbers are available, 12,280 women in the U.S. were diagnosed with cervical cancer. 142,672 people in the Unites States were diagnosed with colorectal cancer, including 72,755 men and 69,917 women.

The fact that there is still a noticeable gap in cancer screenings among ethnic groups is extremely distressing to the studies researchers.

“It’s troubling to see that not all Americans are getting the recommended cancer screenings and that disparities continue to persist for certain populations,” said lead study author Dr. Sallyann Coleman King, epidemic intelligence service officer for CDC, in a statement.

“Screening can find breast, cervical and colorectal cancers at an early stage when treatment is more effective. We must continue to monitor cancer screening rates to improve the health of all Americans.” she summed up.

The study was done in conjunction with the National Cancer Institute.

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