Early-stage colon cancer is treatable and has a very promising survival rate. However, less than 40% of new colon cancer diagnoses are early-stage disease. Now, a new study has identified an association of distance, region, and insurance coverage with advanced colon cancer at initial diagnosis. Utilizing the Nation Cancer Database, patients 18 years or older diagnosed with colon cancer as a primary diagnosis between 2010 and 2017 were compared in terms of distance to their medical facility, region of residence, and insurance coverage.
The study found that patients at an increased risk of advanced pathologic disease:
- Traveled a greater distance to their medical facility
- Lived in the Northeast, Mountain, or Central regions of the United States
- Only had Medicaid or did not have insurance coverage
Sahar Alam is a Colorectal Cancer Prevention Intern with the Colon Cancer Foundation.