Study: Insured patients get earlier cancer diagnosis

A new study by the American Cancer Society has concluded that uninsured U.S. residents and Medicaid patients are more likely than the privately insured to be diagnosed with late-stage cancer, echoing the findings of previous research. The study, which was published on The Lancet Oncology's website, examined data from the National Cancer Database on 3.7 million people diagnosed with 12 types of cancer between 1998 and 2004. Researchers found that when it came to cancers that could be detected early through screening or symptom assessment--including breast cancer, lung cancer and melanoma--uninsured patients were two to three times more likely than those who are privately insured to be diagnosed in Stage III or IV. The same study also found that blacks and Hispanics have a higher risk of being diagnosed in later stages than whites, regardless of insurance status.

To learn more about the study:
- read this Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report item

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