HealthDay News — Only 14% of cancers diagnosed in the United States are diagnosed after the patient had a recommended screening test, according to a report released by NORC at the University of Chicago.

The percentage of cancers detected by screening (PCDS) in the United States in 2017 was calculated as the product of the screening rate and the expected number of cancers detected per screening, divided by the overall cancer incidence. The screening rate was estimated using self-reported data for the prior 12 months among participants in the US National Health Interview Survey.

The report showed that 57% of all diagnosed cancers currently do not have a recommended screening test and are typically detected when patients are symptomatic. For the minority of cancers detected through screening tests, the PCDS varies by cancer types, with the majority (61%) of diagnosed breast cancers detected through mammography. Just over half of cervical cancer cases (52%) are detected by a Pap test, while 45% of diagnosed colorectal cancers are detected by screening. For lung cancers, only 3% of diagnoses are made through screening. PCDS also shows variance geographically, with Arizona having the highest overall PCDS (16.8%) and Arkansas and Louisiana having the lowest overall PCDS (12%).


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“Cancer treatments have vastly improved over the last few decades, but the health system’s ability to screen for cancer, which is essential for early diagnosis and effective treatment, still has a long way to go,” Caroline Pearson, senior vice president at NORC, said in a statement. “There need to be more screening options to catch more cancers and improve outcomes for patients.”

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