According to a new study, among people younger than 65, state regulations for health insurance and medical practitioners tend to be at fault for late diagnoses of colorectal and breast cancers.
State regulations and guidelines could prevent people younger than 65 from being screened.
Researchers assert that the increased access to care could have an important effect on colorectal cancer incidences.
The study was published in Health Economics Review. The study was carried out by researchers from Georgia State University and the University of North Carolina.
Colorectal cancer has been on the rise since 1998 and breast cancer has remained relatively stable since 2003.
Although progress has been made in the way against cancer, the proportions of late-stage diagnoses remain a public health concern.
Researchers used statistics from the U.S. Cancer Statistics and reviewed data from about 2,300 counties in 40 states with records of breast cancer and colorectal cancer diagnoses.
The data showed that 54 to 60% of colorectal cancer diagnoses and 24 to 36% of breast cancer diagnoses were later-stage cancers.
Researchers were able to determine whether late-stage diagnoses were more likely in states based on regulations and guidelines for cancer screening that guide clinical suggestion and insurance coverage for the tests.
The data used in in the study was only recorded up to 2009. The reason for this is because the 2010 implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which made healthcare services available to a wider array of people and changed some guidelines for care as a result.
Researchers believe that an interesting follow up question which would need research is whether the role of area uninsured becomes less important over time. Researchers are also concerned as to whether the young-old age discrepancy and interaction with state regulation becomes less pronounced.
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