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Financial hardship is associated with lower uptake of colorectal, breast, and cervical cancer screenings.

Kasting ML, Haggstrom DA, Lee JL, Dickinson SL, Shields CG, Rawl SM. Financial hardship is associated with lower uptake of colorectal, breast, and cervical cancer screenings. Cancer Causes & Control : Ccc. 2021 Oct 1; 32(10):1173-1183.

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Abstract:

PURPOSE: Cancer screening uptake differs between groups in ways that cannot be explained by socioeconomic status alone. This study examined associations between material, psychosocial, and behavioral aspects of financial hardship and cancer screening behaviors. METHODS: Surveys were mailed to 7,979 people ages 18-75 who were seen in the statewide health system in Indiana. Participants reported SES, feelings about finances, and whether they had to forgo medical care due to cost. This was compared to uptake of mammogram, colonoscopy/sigmoidoscopy, and Pap testing in best-fit multivariable logistic regression analyses controlling for demographic and healthcare characteristics. RESULTS: A total of 970 surveys were returned; the majority of respondents were female (54%), non-Hispanic White (75%), and over 50 years old (76%). 15% reported forgoing medical care due to cost; this barrier was higher among Black than White participants (24% vs. 13%; p? = 0.001). In a best fit regression model for colonoscopy/sigmoidoscopy, those who reported they had to forgo medical care due to cost had lower odds of screening (aOR 0.41; 95% CI 0.22-0.74). Forgoing medical care due to cost was not significantly associated with Pap testing in bivariate analyses. For mammogram, forgoing medical care due to cost was significant in bivariate analyses (OR 0.44; 95% CI 0.22-0.88), but was not significant in the multivariable model. CONCLUSION: Associations between financial hardship and cancer screening suggest the need to reduce barriers to cancer screening even among patients who have access to healthcare. Future research should explore barriers related to both healthcare and personal costs.





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