Lack of Health Insurance Linked to Advanced Cancer

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A team of researchers led by Dr. Michael Halpern of the American Cancer Society recently released the results of an intriguing study. The study suggests uninsured Americans and those on certain government health programs, are more likely to have advanced stages of cancer when initially diagnosed than those individuals with private health insurance.

The team of researchers studied 3.7 million Americans with twelve common forms of cancer during a six-year period. The study found that uninsured Americans were 210 percent more likely to receive a diagnosis of advanced stage cancer, and those on Medicaid were 80 percent more likely, than their insured counterparts.

The researchers believe the primary reason for the disparity is due to a larger number of uninsured and Medicaid enrollees not receiving adequate routine screening for cancer.

The study also found that African-American and Hispanic individuals were more likely than whites to be diagnosed with advanced cancer.

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