New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)
The value of early detection
Shortly after “Spider-Man: No Way Home” opened, Andrew Garfield, Tobey Maguire and director Jon Watts snuck into a screening of the film. “I just watched with my baseball cap and mask on,” said Garfield. Unfortunately, most folks don’t get to their important screenings at all.
That’s the finding of a University of Chicago analysis. The researchers acknowledge that while many cancers don’t have screenings available, many folks don’t take advantage of what is. For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 69% of Americans age 50 to 79 are up-to-date on colon cancer screenings. Similarly, only 69% of women 40plus have had a mammogram in the past two years. The other available — and underused — cancer screenings are HPV and Pap tests for cervical cancer, low-dose CT scans for folks at high risk for lung cancer, and PSA tests for prostate cancer. That all contributes to the fact that only one in seven cancers is caught through screening.
One potential solution: a blood test that identifies multiple cancers. In 2021, researchers found that a multi-cancer early cancer detection blood test called Galleri can spot more than 50 types. For the 12 cancers that cause around two-thirds of all U.S. cancers deaths, “Galleri finds about 40% of stage I cancers, 67% of stage II cancers, 80% of stage III cancers and 95% of stage IV cancers,” says the Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Eric Klein. Although it needs to be shown that this test saves lives and it isn’t yet Food and Drug Administration approved, stay tuned to your favorite screen for breaking news.
Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is “The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow.” Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email questions@ GreatAgeReboot.com.