More and more cervical cancer diagnoses in young women under 26 years old. However, is not an outburst of an epidemic, as some might think, but rather a positive effect of the ACA (Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare).
Since 2010, young adults can benefit from the health insurance of their parents. This made a huge difference for about four million people, who could now afford medical treatments and scans. The number of uninsured young people between 19 to 25 years old dropped from 34 percent to 21 percent from 2010 to 2014.
The tremendous positive effects of the ACA have been observed especially in young women. Persons with medical insurance are more likely to visit the doctor and take screenings that could identify severe disease, like cancer, at an early stage.
Cervical cancer is curable if identified early in its development. Besides that, the treatment can be more effective and chances of remission are higher.
In order to make sure that the ACA was the reason why the cancer diagnosis increased, researchers have studied the National Cancer Data Base. When they compared the figures from 2007 to 2009 and from 2011 to 2012 – one and two years before the ACA and one/two years after, they discovered significant differences.
The rate of cervical cancer diagnosis in the age group from 26 to 34 remained about the same (and actually dropped by 2 percent) for both periods, while for age group from 19 to 25 it increased with 8 percent.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association was not aimed directly at finding out whether the ACA had positive effects on patients with cervical cancer or not but this was a naturally conclusion of the research.
Screenings for cervical cancer have been recommended to women from 21 and older since 2009 by the American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians. The screening is part of the Pap test that is able to detect precancerous cells.
Cervical cancer is the 3rd most common cancer type in the world. It is a form of cancer that develops slowly, starting with dysplasia – a precancerous condition that can be detected by the Pap test, being 100% treatable.
Almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by human papilloma virus, known as HPV. This is a virus commonly spread through sexual activity, but which can also have other causes.
People at a higher risk of developing cervical cancer are those who don’t get vaccinated against HPV, those who are poor, those who started their sexual life at a young age and those with a weak immune system.
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