cancer screening

Systems Strategies To Support Cancer Screening in U.S. Primary Care Practice

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2011 Oct 5

Yabroff R, Zapka JM, Klabunde C, Yuan G, Buckman D, Haggstrom D,  Clauser S, Miller JW, Taplin S.


Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer  Institute.



Although systems strategies are effective in improving health care  delivery, little is known about their use for cancer screening in U.S. primary care practice.


We assessed primary care physicians’ (n=2475) use of systems strategies for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer (CRC) screening  in a national survey conducted in 2007. Systems strategies included patient and physician screening reminders, performance reports of screening rates, electronic medical records, implementation of  in-practice guidelines, and use of nurse practitioners/physician assistants. We evaluated use of both patient and physician screening reminders with other strategies in separate models by screening type, adjusted for the effects of physician and practice characteristics with multivariate logistic regression.


Fewer than 10% of physicians used a comprehensive set of systems strategies to support cancer screening; use was greater for mammography and Pap testing than for CRC screening. In adjusted analyses, performance reports of cancer screening rates, medical record type, and in-practice guidelines were associated with use of both patient and physician screening reminders for mammography, Pap testing, and CRC screening (p<0.05).


Despite evidence supporting use of systems strategies in primary care, few physicians report using a comprehensive set of strategies to support cancer screening. Impact: Current health policy initiatives underscore the importance of increased implementation of systems strategies in primary care to improve the use and quality of cancer screening in the U.S.

October, 2011|Oral Cancer News|

Free screening for head and neck cancer

Author: Alyson Myles

Doctors examined hundreds of Mid-Missourians at the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center today.

The free cancer screenings were a part of national Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week. The screenings were a part of a walk-in clinic, so appointments were not necessary.

The National Cancer Institute estimates that 50,000 Americans have some form of head or neck cancer. Ear, nose and throat doctor at the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center Jeff Jorgensen said 85% of of head and neck cancers are related to tobacco use.

“The bottom line is we are trying to get people to stop smoking. And stop using any tobacco products for that matter,” Jorgensen said.

Norman Larson was one of the 150 people who attended the screening. He was a smoker during his young adult life, but was not concerned that he had cancer. He came to the screening because he was in Columbia visiting his mother.

“It was more curiosity than anything. Any sort of screening I think is a good idea espcially if it finds something early,” Larson said.

If a doctor did find anything suspicious during the screenings, the patient could make an appointment to come in for a more thorough exam.

Some symptoms of head and neck cancer are:

* A sore in your mouth that doesn’t heal or increases in size
* Persistent pain in your mouth
* Lumps or white, red or dark patches in your mouth
* Thickening of your cheek
* Difficulty chewing or swallowing
* Difficulty moving your jaw
* Pain around your teeth or loosening of your teeth
* Numbness of your tongue or elsewhere in your mouth
* Changes in your voice
* A lump in your neck

April, 2010|Oral Cancer News|