Oceanside, NY, October 27, 2017 --(PR.com
)-- Men are less likely to receive potentially life-saving screenings for cancer, according to the latest South Nassau Communities Hospital Truth in Medicine poll of metro area residents.
Women have a greater understanding and follow through on mammogram screenings more than men do about prostate cancer screenings or among both genders about colon cancer screenings, the poll results show.
Some 74 percent of women age 40 and older reported having a mammogram screening for breast cancer during the past year, the poll found.
But just over one half (53 percent) of men age 40 and over who were polled reported being screened for prostate cancer and only 55 percent believe prostate screening recommendations are clear, while 45 percent found them confusing or were unsure about them.
Some 60 percent of adults 40 and older reported being screened for colon cancer in the last 10 years.
Out of pocket costs also play a role in willingness to get screened. Less than half of adults age 40 and older would pay out of pocket for mammogram, prostate and colon cancer screenings, the South Nassau poll found.
Even among adults who have the means to pay for a screening, 28% would not pay or are unsure if they would pay out of pocket for cancer detection tests.
Attitudes regarding screening practices varied by age, gender and racial lines, the poll showed. White women were nearly 10 percent more likely to be screened for breast cancer (74 percent) than black women (65 percent).
Those with a primary care physician were significantly more likely to be screened for breast, prostate and colon cancer, the poll found. For instance, some 97 percent of male respondents who have been screened for prostate cancer have a primary care physician as opposed to only 72 percent of those men who have not been screened. Some 95 percent of respondents who have been screened for colon cancer also have a primary care doctor while only 81 percent who have not had colon cancer screening have a primary care provider.
Each year, the American Cancer Society produces a set of guidelines on screenings. Overall, the guidelines on mammography screenings were clearest to respondents with only 18% of all female respondents saying they were either confused or not sure about the age and frequency recommendations. For those women who have not had a mammogram in the past year, 33% believe the recommendations are confusing.
For women with an average risk of breast cancer, the American Cancer Society recommends the option for women age 40-44 to start screening with a mammography every year. Women age 45-54 should have mammograms annually. Women over age 54 could choose screenings every other year. These screenings should begin as early as age 30 for women with higher risk factors.
"The earlier cancer is diagnosed greatly improves a patient's chance for survival," said Rajiv Datta, MD, Chair Department of Surgery and Medical Director of Gertrude & Louis Feil Cancer Center at South Nassau.