Screenings catch only 13% of Connecticut cancers

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Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Connecticut. While early detection is key to improving survival, only four cancers have effective screening tests — breast, cervical, colorectal, and lung cancers. These four types made up one in three cancers  in Connecticut from 2015 through 2019.

A new analysis finds that 13% of cancers diagnosed in Connecticut are caught by screenings, behind all but eight other states. The study by NORC at the University of Chicago tracked the percent rates of cancers detected by a screen (PCDS) across states in 2017. Massachusetts (16%) and Rhode Island (15.6%) caught more than both Connecticut and the national average, while New York found fewer through screens (12.2%).

The PCDS rates vary significantly between  different types of cancer in Connecticut and for all states. While about half of breast and cervical cancers in Connecticut are caught by screenings, only 4.3% of lung cancers are caught.

Source: NORC

Between 2015 and 2019 in Connecticut, rates of colorectal, cervical, and lung cancer declined while breast cancer increased, according to State Cancer Profiles from NIH and CDC.

Source: State Cancer Profiles

While Connecticut’s appropriate screening rates for all five cancers are a bit above the US average and we are ninth lowest in cancer deaths per capita, we can do better.