The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released the results of a recent report, “Surveillance of Screening-Detected Cancers (Colon and Rectum, Breast, and Cervix) — United States, 2004-2006,” which reveals that in a significant amount of patients, cancer has been diagnosed at late-stages despite the availability of screening tests.
Researchers conducting the study evaluated stage-specific cancer incidence rates and screening prevalence for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer in relation to demographic characteristics on a state by state basis.
According to the CDC, nearly half of the colorectal and cervical cancer cases, and a third of the breast cancer cases in the United States are diagnosed at a later stage in the disease process, when treatment is more challenging.
In commenting on the prevalence of late-stage cancer diagnosis despite availability of diagnostic screening, Marcus Plescia, MD, MPH, Director, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control stated, “This report causes concern because so many preventable cancers are not being diagnosed when treatment is most effective… More work is needed to widely implement evidence-based cancer screening tests which may lead to early detection and, ultimately, an increase in the number of lives saved.”
In relation to rates of cancer in New Jersey, the cancer diagnosis study revealed that New Jersey is one of ten states with the highest late-stage colon and rectal cancer rates. Moreover, New Jersey was also included as one of nine states, in addition to the District of Columbia, with the highest late-stage breast cancer rates.
The CDC noted that variations in the availability of screening in different locations throughout the United States, as well as how this relates to different demographic groups, may explain some of the increases in late-stage cancer diagnoses in some areas.
All forms of cancer are most effectively treated while in their early stages. A patient is more likely to experience a successful recovery and/or a better prognosis when a healthcare provider is able to timely or accurately diagnose the disease before the cancer enters a late stage.
If you believe that a medical professional’s failure to diagnose cancer or misdiagnosis has contributed to the progression of your or a loved one’s disease, the attorneys at Blume Forte can help. Call 973-635-5400 to speak with one of our New Jersey failure to diagnose cancer attorneys for a no-cost consultation.