Uninsurance, Medicaid Coverage Could Delay Colon Cancer Diagnosis
A research letter published in JAMA Network Open indicates that the type of health insurance is a risk factor for delayed colon cancer diagnosis. Using data from the National Cancer Database from 2010 to 2017, the researchers found that fewer than 4 out of 10 patients will be diagnosed in the early stages. According to the study, patients who underwent surgical resection and had no insurance or only Medicaid generally had advanced pathologic stages of the disease. Higher stages of colon cancer also were more likely in patients over 12.6 miles from their local medical facilities. "These findings are important as more rural hospitals are closing and care becomes more regionalized at high-volume centers," said the researchers.
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