Even when other factors like age and gender are factored out, it seems that under- and uninsured patients with cancer are likely to be diagnosed at a later stage in their disease than patients with private insurance, according to a new pair of studies published in the journal Cancer. The studies, which looked at the breast cancer and oral cancer, found that the availability and type of health insurance could predict the severity of the illness at the point when it was diagnosed. The studies noted that uninsured and underinsured patients may not have the same access to care as privately insured patients, or at minimum, may have to wait longer to be seen. The authors recommend that health systems and public health organizations establish screening programs specifically for the under and underinsured patients to improve the timeliness of cancer treatment diagnoses.
To find out more about the study:
- read this United Press International piece