Insurance increases the chances of beating cancer


TUESDAY, Dec. 5, 2017 (HealthDay News) – Your chances of surviving cancer may depend on the type of insurance you have.

Researchers at the California Institute of Cancer Prevention found significant improvements in survival among cancer patients with private insurance or Medicare, but not among those who have public insurance such as Medicaid, or are not insured.

Researchers badyzed data from more than 1.1 million patients in California diagnosed with the five most common types of cancer in the state: bad, colon, lung, melanoma and prostate: between 1997 and 2014.

Compared with people who had private insurance, who did not have insurance had a much higher mortality rate for all cancers except the prostate. Those with Medicaid had a much higher death rate for all cancers except lung cancer, the researchers found.

In addition, they found that Medicaid patients had higher survival rates than uninsured people with bad, lung or prostate cancer, but there was little or no difference for colon cancer or melanoma.

"Lack of access to preventive health care is likely to have played a key role in these survival disparities, especially for bad and colorectal cancer, for which established screening practices exist," researcher Libby Ellis he said in a press release from the institute

He also noted that people without insurance or with public insurance like Medicaid may also have problems getting high quality cancer care.

The findings were published online November 30 in the journal JAMA Oncology .

More information

The US National Cancer Institute has more about cancer.

SOURCE: Cancer Prevention Insti tute of California, press release, November 30, 2017

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