In 2022, there will be an estimated 1.9 million new cancer cases diagnosed . Although cancer screenings can save lives and should be accessible to all, many adults in the United States are not getting the recommended screening tests. For example, only about one in three adults aged 50 to 75 years have not been tested for colorectal cancer as recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) .
Increasing access to screening tests is integral to enabling early cancer detection and better health outcomes. Leveraging at-home cancer screening tests like LetsGetChecked’s at-home Colon Cancer Screening Test makes it easy for members of your population to access crucial health insights.
Barriers to cancer screening access
Although evidence shows that cancer screenings help decrease mortality rates, too many people are not getting their recommended screenings, and some populations have lower screening rates than others. Research shows that the overall cancer screening rate is lower among Black, Hispanic, Asian, and American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) populations than their White counterparts . Additionally, data suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to drops or delays in cancer screening, which may have exacerbated disparities in cancer screening .
Other barriers to cancer screening can include a lack of insurance, time, or health literacy. How early a person’s cancer is detected and how quickly they receive treatment should not be determined by such social determinants of health. To tackle cancer screening disparities, it is crucial to prioritize equitable healthcare access and remove barriers to care. Innovative strategies, such as at-home screening tests, can help reach more people and facilitate greater access to cancer screenings.
Consequences of lack of cancer screening
While barriers to screening before the COVID-19 pandemic were already present, the pandemic further affected access to screenings. An estimated 10 million cancer screenings were missed during the first months of the pandemic . Experts fear that missed cancer screenings during the pandemic will potentially lead to a greater diagnosis of more advanced or aggressive stages of cancer in the coming years and may result in an increase in cancer-related mortality.
Between March and December 2020, the United States saw an 11% increase in patients diagnosed with inoperable or metastatic cancer compared to the same period in 2019 . This data shows that delays in cancer screening may have led to an increase in late-stage cancer diagnosis, which can be harder to treat and carry a worse outcome for patients.
Increasing screening access with at-home testing
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of cancer prevention and screenings and how crucial it is to address cancer disparities. While the challenging circumstances of the pandemic have exacerbated issues with screening access, there is an opportunity to leverage at-home screening tests to increase healthcare access and boost screening engagement.
LetsGetChecked’s at-home cancer screening tests can ensure that members of your population receive the testing they need. Our powerfully accessible offering delivers health insights and personalized care to wherever your people call home, improving health outcomes so they can live healthier, happier lives.
- https://www.cancer.org/research/cancer-facts-statistics/all-cancer-facts-figures/cancer-facts-figures-2022.html#:~:text=Estimated numbers of new cancer,deaths in the United States