Rational VS Rationing

By: Riley Evans

In a new report based on findings from the U.S. National Health Interview Survey, more than half of the surveyed seniors reported that their physicians continued to recommend cancer screenings. This is being done despite ambiguity about its necessity for men and women over the age of 75. According to the study, roughly 57% of adults between the ages of 75 and 79 were screened for colorectal cancer, 62% for breast, 53% for cervical and 56% for prostate cancer; keep in mind that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advises against cervical cancer testing after age 65 and prostate, breast and colorectal cancers, at age 75 or older.

As of now seniors are the largest healthcare consumers, but as the population continues to age, balancing good health care costs will be a continuing battle. In the US almost 37 million people are over the age of 65 and it’s estimated that number will double within the next 18 years. With so many older adults living longer and healthier lives than previous generations, screening may continue to be pursued by healthcare professionals.

There are two sides to every story. While certain professionals feel that age should not be a sole factor in determining cancer screening, but it should be taken on a case by case basis, others disagree. On the opposite end of the argument, the American Cancer Society’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Otis Brawley has said ``the overwhelming majority of folks over 75 should not be getting these screening tests, because we have no science that shows these tests are going to benefit these folks by making them live longer``. He continued in saying ``This is an example of waste, we need to think about the rational use of healthcare and stop talking about the rationing of healthcare.`

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Author of this article Riley Evans Social Media Editor for www.eboxed.com/>">Eboxed Internet Media Marketing that specializes in social media, marketing, and advertising.

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