Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

General Physicals Prompt Needed Cancer Screenings

Date:
March 27, 2007
Source:
University of California - Davis
Summary:
If you're 50 or older, seeing your doctor every year or two for a checkup may be a good defense against cancer. A new study by researchers at UC Davis, the University of Washington and Group Health Cooperative in Seattle concluded regular preventive health exams increase the likelihood older adults will get recommended cancer screenings.

If you're 50 or older, seeing your doctor every year or two for a checkup may be a good defense against cancer, according to a new study by researchers at UC Davis, the University of Washington, and Group Health Cooperative in Seattle.

Related Articles


The study, to appear in the March 26 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, concluded that regular preventive health exams increase the likelihood that older adults will get recommended cancer screenings.

"Because people go to the doctor anyway when they feel sick or have a medical problem, some authorities have questioned whether preventive, or general, health examinations are worth the extra time and effort," said lead author Joshua Fenton, assistant professor of family and community medicine at UC Davis.

"Our study suggests they are. If people over 50 have checkups every year or two, they're more likely to go ahead and get the cancer screenings they need."

Fenton and his colleagues focused their study on patients ages 52 to 78 years old who were eligible for breast, colon or prostate cancer screening in 2002 and 2003 through Group Health Cooperative. Group Health is a large, prepaid group health plan in Seattle. The researchers then sorted the patients into two groups: those who had a preventive health exam or general physical during the two-year period and those who didn't. Finally, the researchers compared cancer screening rates between the two groups.

The study included 64,288 patients. About half had a preventive health exam during the two-year period, and half didn't. (Group Health recommends patients get an exam every two years, but doesn't send reminders).

A clear screening gap emerged: Patients who had a general checkup were more than three times as likely as those who didn't to get some type of colon cancer screening. Colon screenings included fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy and barium enema.

Patients who got checkups were also about three times as likely to get a prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, test for prostate cancer.

Mammography rates were higher in the checkup group as well, but by a lesser margin, probably because Group Health sends reminders to all women who are due for a mammogram.

The screening gaps persisted regardless of how many "illness" visits patients had during the study period, suggesting doctors may not have time to advocate for cancer screening when they're evaluating a sick patient.

Other evidence supports this view: Fenton notes that one recent survey found 97 percent of primary care physicians said they recommend appropriate cancer screening to patients during preventive visits, but few bring up the subject during other visits.

"The preventive health exam may be an auspicious time to promote cancer screening," Fenton said. "These visits may afford primary care physicians the opportunity to discuss and recommend cancer screening when indicated, and physicians' recommendations have been consistently associated with timely cancer screening."

The study was supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Davis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Davis. "General Physicals Prompt Needed Cancer Screenings." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 March 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070326181501.htm>.
University of California - Davis. (2007, March 27). General Physicals Prompt Needed Cancer Screenings. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070326181501.htm
University of California - Davis. "General Physicals Prompt Needed Cancer Screenings." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070326181501.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins