Multi-Cancer Screening Tests Can Catch More Cancers Early
Early screening for cancer is important because when detected at later stages, treatments are more limited, and outcomes are generally poorer. Newer, innovative multi-cancer screening technology has the potential to detect more cancers at earlier stages. Several private and academic entities are currently developing multi-cancer early detection blood-based tests. Published data indicate that some of these tests can screen for many cancers at the same time, including some rare cancers.
Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Could Help Reduce Cancer Disparities
Overall cancer mortality rates have been declining for more than two decades in the United States, but racial, socioeconomic, and geographic disparities persist. The availability of multi-cancer screening tests has the potential to address cancer mortality disparities by detecting more cancers earlier in more people.
Cancer disparities occur mostly because of barriers to high quality cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment due to inequities in employment, wealth, education, housing, and standards of living.
A simple blood test may be more accessible and acceptable to patients, thereby extending screening opportunities to traditionally underserved communities. Reducing cancer disparities can only be achieved if there is equitable access to the test in underserved communities, which Medicare coverage can help promote.