Friday, December 21, 2007

Lack of health insurance kills

Via Echidne, Medical News Today reports:
A new report by a major US cancer charity has found that uninsured Americans are less likely to survive cancer, less likely to be screened for it, and more likely to have an advanced stage of the disease once they are diagnosed, compared with Americans on health insurance.

The study, which examines the link between health insurance status and cancer treatment and survival, will appear in the January-February edition of the journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians and is the work of researchers from the American Cancer Society (ACS), led by Dr Elizabeth Ward, managing director, surveillance research at the ACS.

Other studies have already suggested that Medicaid and uninsured patients are more likely to be diagnosed with cancers that are more advanced, mostly because they can't afford to buy preventative services such as cancer screening.

This report from the ACS takes a closer look at the link between insurance status and cancer care, and takes into account a number of demographic, race, and socioeconomic factors.

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