Too Old To Screen

There are 37 million people in the United States are 65 and older and the  U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends against routine screening for breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer at age 75 and beyond, and advises against cervical cancer testing after 65.  But the screenings still occur.   A study published in the Dec. 12/26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine gives some examples:

  • Among women 75 to 79 years old, 62 percent had received a mammogram to screen for breast cancer in the past two years, as had 50 percent of women 80 and older.
  • Pap screens for cervical cancer were done on 53 percent of women 75 to 79, and 38 percent of women 80 and older.
  • Fifty-seven percent of men and women 75 to 79 were screened for colon cancer in the previous two years.
  • Prostate cancer screening was undertaken by 57 percent of those 75 to 79; 42 percent of men 80 and older; and 40 percent of those 50 to 74.
Why does this still happen?  In my experience, no logical discussion using facts from the USPSTF will convince an elderly person NOT to get a free screening done.  The only convincing they would ever need is to tell them they had to pay some of the testing cost out of their own pockets.  Even if they had to pay only 5-10% you would still convince 99% of them not to get the test.  Cased closed.
4960cookie-checkToo Old To Screen