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 April 21, 2015 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 April 21, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Teva Offers $40 Billion for Mylan

Teva Offers $40 Billion for Mylan

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 21, 2015) Generic drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical is offering $82 a share, or $40 billion, for its smaller rival Mylan, in an alternative to Mylan&apos;s deal to buy Perrigo. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blue Bell Recalls All Products

Blue Bell Recalls All Products

AP (Apr. 21, 2015) Blue Bell Creameries voluntary recalled for all of its products after two samples of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream tested positive for listeria, a potentially deadly bacteria. Blue Bell&apos;s President and CEO issued a video statement. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yemen Doctors at Breaking Point

Yemen Doctors at Breaking Point

Reuters - News Video Online (Apr. 21, 2015) A Sanaa hospital struggles to cope with the high number of casualties with severe injuries, after an air strike left at least 25 dead and hundreds wounded. Deborah Lutterbeck reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Tutu Tuesdays' Brighten Faces at Kids' Hospital

'Tutu Tuesdays' Brighten Faces at Kids' Hospital

AP (Apr. 21, 2015) Doctors and nurses have started wearing ballet tutus every Tuesday to cheer up young hospital patients at a Florida hospital. It started with a request made by a nervous patient -- now, almost the entire staff is wearing the tutus. (April 21) 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