Cancer often diagnosed in late stages, study finds

Dec 20, 2010

It's important for doctors to detect cancer early

A cancer diagnosis doesn't have to mean a death sentence. However, in many cases people do fall victim to the disease. This holds particularly true when a condition is not found early.

Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates many cancers are not being detected in their early stages. Learning that a person has the condition early on can help them successfully beat cancer.

Nearly a third of all breast cancer diagnoses are given after the disease has progressed and treatment is less efficient, says the CDC. Alabama, the District of Columbia and Kansas were among the states with the highest late-stage diagnosis rates for breast cancer.

Division of Cancer Prevention and Control director Dr. Marcus Plescia says the new report sheds light on a serious issue.

"This report causes concern because so many preventable cancers are not being diagnosed when treatment is most effective," says Plescia.

Those who do successfully beat cancer aren't in the clear financially. Many survivors face higher life insurance premiums due to chances of a relapse. At this point there hasn't been a sole cause found for cancer, but many experts agree that eating a balanced diet can help people live healthier lives.

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