The Centers for Disease Control reported recently that more than 30% of all breast cancer cases and nearly 50% of all colon and cervical cancer cases are diagnosed at late stages, when there are fewer treatment options for patients and when the prognosis for the results of those treatment options is less likely to save, or extend, the life of the patient.
Despite considerable improvements in screening procedures to detect cancer at an early stage over the past 10 years, authors of the report noted that the chronic problem of late diagnosis on a nationwide scale persists unabated. This is due, for the most part, to differences in screening rates for cancer which vary depending on where a person lives and the person’s socio-economic background. These are two key factors that often determine an individual’s likelihood of getting regular check-ups and more thorough and comprehensive medical care from their doctors and other healthcare providers.
The CDC report, the first of its kind to highlight the incidence of late-stage cancer diagnosis and cancer screening prevalence in all 50 states, found striking evidence that the incidence of late-stage cancer rates differed dramatically by age, race, ethnicity and state.
Late Stage Cancer Incidence Rates by Age:
- Incidence rates of late-stage breast cancer were highest among women between the ages of 70 and 79 years; and in particular for African American women in an even much broader age range.
- Incidence rates for late-stage colorectal cancer increased with age, and were highest among African American men and women.
- Incidence rates of late-stage cervical cancer were highest among women aged 50–79 years, in particular for Hispanic women.
Late Stage Cancer Incidence Rates by State:
- Incidence rates for late-stage breast cancer were highest in Alabama, the District of Columbia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Washington.
- Incidence rates for late-stage colon and rectum cancer were highest in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
- Incidence rates for late-stage cervical cancer were highest in Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.
According to the report, use of advanced screening tests may not necessarily relate to a decrease in mortality from all cancers. The CDC cautioned that more studies need to be conducted to accurately conclude that patient survival rates will increase if screening rates increase. This is due to the fact that the interval between the time a cancer is diagnosed by a screening procedure and the time a cancer would have otherwise been diagnosed in the absence of screening, has not yet been determined. However, earlier studies by the CDC, and other leading cancer research organizations in the U.S. and elsewhere, have demonstrated that early screening for breast cancer has resulted in increased survival rates for women who were found to have the disease.
If you think you have been the victim of a delayed diagnosis of cancer, you should contact one of our lawyers at Dankner Milstein for a free consultation at 212-751-8000 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Our firm has recovered more than $500 million for clients we’ve represented; and has secured more than two hundred (200) verdicts and settlements of one million dollars or higher.