Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
There was a significant drop in the number of new cancer diagnoses during the recession, but experts say that it does not necessarily mean that cancer is being caught and treated earlier, according to California Healthline. In a study published last month, investigators believe a plausible explanation for this trend is that individuals are less likely to get routine screenings or visit their physicians due to loss of income or health insurance. Among California’s largest counties, cancer diagnosis rates during the recession and subsequent recovery dropped by 3.3% annually for males and 1.4% for females, California Healthline reported. This rate is significantly faster than the average decline of 0.7% for males and 0.5% for females documented over the previous decade, the analysis found. The largest drop in the rates of specific types were for colorectal cancers, lung cancer, and prostate cancer.
Sen Bernie Sanders (I-VT) went after big pharma again by introducing a bill that would allow the commercial importation of drugs from Canada, The Washington Post reported. At the unveiling of the bill, both Democratic and Independent lawmakers called on President Donald Trump to support their efforts. The bill immediately received criticism from the pharmaceutical industry’s trade group, which argued that the policy could cause patients more harm than good if bogus and potentially unsafe drugs make it to market, the Post reported.
Although there has been a steady decrease in older adults with colorectal cancers, scientists found a new trend that shows a sharp increase in these cancers among young individuals in their 20s and 30s. According to The New York Times, 90% of colorectal cancers are still diagnosed in patients 50 years or older. But findings from the new study found that rates, which dropped for individuals born between 1890 and 1950, have increased for every generation born since 1950. Rectal cancers in particular are rising much faster than cancers in other parts of the large intestine or colon, the NY Times reported. The American Cancer Society estimates approximately 13,500 new cases of colon and rectal cancers will be diagnosed in Americans who are under age 50 in 2017.