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Female Medicare beneficiaries with early-stage cancers do participate in screening mammogram programs.
Screening mammography utilization rates are similar between Medicare beneficiaries with early-stage cancer versus controls. Although the majority of patients with advanced-stage cancer appropriately do not pursue screening mammography, a small number (8 percent) continue with screening, according to the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
Researchers from Emory University Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta, Ga., and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., sought to assess if there were a difference in the use of breast cancer programs between Medicare beneficiaries with colorectal and lung cancer versus cancer-free controls.
The researchers followed 104,164 females, 48 percent with colorectal and 52 percent with lung cancer; 30 percent of cases involved advanced cancer. A total of 104,164 controls were included. All subjects were 67 years or older; the ones with cancer were diagnosed between 2000 and 2011 and were followed for two years, when possible.
The results showed that among the women who had lung cancer or colorectal cancer, 22 percent underwent one or more screening mammograms versus 26 percent of controls. Stratified by cancer type, 28 percent of colorectal cancer cases versus 29 percent of controls, and 17 percent of lung cancer cases versus 23 percent of controls, received one or more mammograms. When stratified by stage, 8 percent with advanced cancer versus 18 percent of controls, and 30 percent with early-stage cancer versus 30 percent of controls, underwent one or more mammograms.
The researchers concluded screening mammography utilization rates are similar between Medicare beneficiaries with early-stage cancer versus controls. Those with advanced cancer did not pursue screening mammography, although 8 percent did continue with screening.