Nav: Home

Study: ACA Medicaid expansion shows impact on colon cancer screenings, survival in Kentucky

February 22, 2019

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 22, 2019) - A new University of Kentucky study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons shows a direct link between the adoption of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Medicaid expansion and the impact of colon cancer on Kentuckians.

In the study, researchers looked at statistics for screening, incidence and outcomes of colon cancer from the Kentucky Hospital Discharge Database in the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the Kentucky Cancer Registry. Pre-ACA Medicaid expansion (2011-2013) - where approximately 14 percent of Kentuckians were uninsured - was compared to post-ACA Medicaid Expansion (2014-16), where that number dropped to about six percent.

Results showed a substantial increase - 230 percent - in the number of Medicaid patients who received colon cancer screening post-expansion compared to Medicaid patients who received screening prior to the expansion. This was particularly prominent in the Appalachian region of the state, where 43 percent more patients received screening post-expansion. For Medicaid patients in Appalachia, data also showed a 9.3 percent increase in early stage diagnosis of colon cancer - when the disease is more easily treated - and a 27 percent decrease in risk of death.

Kentucky has one of the highest rates of both colon cancer incidence (1st) and mortality (5th) in the nation. Colon cancer screening is an effective way to reduce these numbers, as screening can actually help prevent the disease by allowing doctors to find and remove pre-cancerous lesions before they become malignant. Kentucky has historically had poor colon cancer screening rates, though the state has seen great improvement in the past two decades due to massive public health efforts.

"Colorectal cancer is treatable, and it's also preventable through appropriate screening," said Dr. Avinash Bhakta, colorectal surgeon at the UK Markey Cancer Center and lead author on the study. ""The takeaway here is that screening does matter, and the expansion of Medicaid has increased usage of colon cancer screening for many Kentuckians who otherwise wouldn't have had access."
-end-


University of Kentucky

Related Colon Cancer Articles:

New model could speed up colon cancer research
Using the CRISPR gene editing system, MIT researchers have shown they can generate colon tumors in mice that very closely resemble human colon tumors, an advance that should allow scientists to learn more about how the disease progresses and also help them test potential new drugs.
Are dialysis patients being over-screened for colon cancer?
Colonoscopies are being performed more often on healthier dialysis patients than on those with more limited life expectancies; however, overall, dialysis patients are being screened at a much higher rate relative to their life expectancy than their counterparts without kidney failure.
The importance of the glutamine metabolism in colon cancer
The importance of glutamine was made clear as a colon cancer specific metabolism.
Discovery of a novel gene for hereditary colon cancer
The formation of large numbers of polyps in the colon has a high probability of developing into colon cancer, if left untreated.
How diet influences colon cancer
A study ties high-fat diet to changes in intestinal stem cells and may help explain increased cancer risk.
How gut inflammation sparks colon cancer
Duke biomedical engineers have shown how colon cancer development is intricately linked to a specific microRNA that dictates how cells divide.
Treating colon cancer with vitamin A
Scientists at EPFL have identified the biological pathway behind the growth of colon cancer, and were able block it with vitamin A.
More precise colon cancer screening?
A clinical scoring system for colon cancer risk could help physicians identify which average-risk patients could potentially skip a colonoscopy and instead be screened with a less-invasive method.
Testosterone may contribute to colon cancer tumor growth
James Amos-Landgraf, an assistant professor of veterinary pathobiology in the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, found evidence suggesting that the male hormone testosterone may actually be a contributing factor in the formation of colon cancer tumors.
Hormone loss could be involved in colon cancer
Like diabetes, colon cancer may be caused in part by the loss of one hormone, suggesting hormone replacement therapy could stall cancer formation.

Related Colon Cancer Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Jumpstarting Creativity
Our greatest breakthroughs and triumphs have one thing in common: creativity. But how do you ignite it? And how do you rekindle it? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas on jumpstarting creativity. Guests include economist Tim Harford, producer Helen Marriage, artificial intelligence researcher Steve Engels, and behavioral scientist Marily Oppezzo.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#524 The Human Network
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".