People with private insurance are more likely to be diagnosed earlier with cancer and survive longer.
Privately insured people with cancer were diagnosed earlier and lived longer than those who were uninsured or were covered by Medicaid, according to two recent studies.
In one study, researchers examined data from more than 13,600 adult patients who had glioblastoma multiforme, the most common type of malignant brain tumor, between 2007 and 2012. The other study analyzed data from more than 10,200 adults who were diagnosed with testicular cancer between 2007 and 2011.
Both studies, published online in the journal Cancer in August, relied on data from the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program. SEER tracks cancer incidence and survival in the United States.
The two cancers generally progress very differently. Glioblastoma multiforme is very aggressive; patients generally don’t live much more than a year following diagnosis and the five-year survival rate is less than 5 percent. Conversely, testicular cancer responds well to chemotherapy even if it has spread to other parts of the body. The five-year survival rate overall is 95 percent.
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