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Progress Mixed in Cancer Prevention, Early Detection Measures

Cigarette smoking reached historic low in 2019, but obesity levels high and cancer screening, HPV vaccination levels suboptimal

doctor and patient

FRIDAY, May 21, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer prevention and early detection measures show mixed progress, according to a review published online May 19 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Priti Bandi, Ph.D., from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues presented estimates of cancer risk factors and screening tests in 2018 and 2019 among U.S. adults, focusing on smoking cessation.

The researchers found that in 2019, cigarette smoking reached a historic low (14.2 percent), partly because 61.7 percent of all persons who had ever smoked had quit. Among lower-income, Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, and uninsured or Medicaid-insured persons, the quit ratio was <45 percent; among lower-educated, lesbian, gay, or bisexual, recent immigrant persons, and in 12 of 17 Southern states, the quit ratio was <55 percent. In 2017 to 2018, obesity levels remained high (42.8 percent) and were disproportionately higher among Black and Hispanic women (56.9 and 43.7 percent, respectively). In adolescents aged 13 to 17 years, human papillomavirus vaccination remained underutilized; in 2019, more than 40 percent were not up-to-date. In 2018, cancer screening prevalence was suboptimal (66, 63.2, and 83.7 percent for colorectal cancer ≥50 years, breast cancer ≥45 years, and cervical cancer at 21 to 65 years, respectively), especially among uninsured adults (29.8 and 31.1 percent for colorectal and breast cancer, respectively).

"While historical gains in smoking cessation have led to steep declines in lung cancer mortality in the past decade, substantial progress can still be made by improving cessation outcomes among socially vulnerable groups," Bandi said in a statement.

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