(HealthDay)—Rates of cancer screening and provider counseling are currently below the Healthy People (HP) 2020 targets, according to a study published Feb. 27 in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Preventing Chronic Disease.
Martin L. Brown, Ph.D., from the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues examined national performance toward HP 2020 targets for cancer screenings, provider counseling, and health care access for the overall population and specific sociodemographic subgroups. Data from the 2008 and 2010 National Health Interview Surveys were assessed and compared with HP 2020 targets.
The researchers found that there were slight declines in the rates of breast and cervical cancer screening, and a 7 percent increase in colorectal cancer screening rates from 2008 to 2010. Cancer screening and provider counseling rates were below HP targets. For subgroups with low income, no health insurance, or no usual source of care, meeting HP targets seems less likely. An 18 percent increase in health insurance coverage for under-65-year-olds and a 10 percent increase in the proportion of 18- to 64-year-olds with a usual source of care would be required to meet HP targets for access to health services.
"Whether HP objectives for cancer screening and health care access are met may depend on implementation of health care reform measures that improve access to and coordination of care," the authors write.
Explore further: Editorial calls for comprehensive approach to cancer screening