November 17th, 2015 by Charlie Blackburn | NAACCReview Home Leave a comment

Almost 20 percent of the people in low-income communities who die of colon cancer could have been saved with early screening. And those premature deaths take a toll on communities that can least bear it.

Lower-income communities in the United States face $6.4 billion in lost wages and productivity because of premature deaths due to colon cancer, according to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.



Read Full Article (Excerpt of Article by Nancy Shute of NPR. Study conducted by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Hannah K. Weir, Ph.D, Senior Epidemiologist, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (NAACCR Steering Committee Chair)

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the leading causes of cancer related deaths in the US. We know that the risk of dying from colorectal cancer is not the same across all communities – people living in poorer communities have a much higher risk of dying from CRC than people living in wealthier, better educated communities.

In this study, we estimated the number of potentially avoidable CRC deaths between 2008 and 2012 in poorer communities. Then we estimated the value of lost productivity that resulted from these deaths. Lost productivity includes the value of future lost salaries, wages, and includes the value to house activities such as cooking, cleaning, and child care.

We focused on the age group 50 to 74 years because this is the age group where routine CRC screening is recommended. We estimated that more than 14, 000 colorectal cancer deaths in poorer communities could have been prevented. And that these CRC deaths resulted in a nearly six and a half billion dollars loss in productivity.

This is tragic – for the person who died, their family and for their community. And this lost productivity contributed to the economic burden of these already disadvantaged communities.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and may not represent the official positions of NAACCR.

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