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  • Author: Richard Roetzheim x
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Katherine Robinson, Amber Todd, Abu-Sayeef Mirza, Madeline Macdonald, Noura Ayoubi, Rahul Mhaskar, Richard Roetzheim, Laurie Woodard and Smitha Pabbathi

Background: There are limited studies documenting the prevalence of malignancies and the cancer screening practices of the uninsured population. Cancer survivors require continued cancer surveillance and screening for recurrence and second primaries. However, screening may be suboptimal among the uninsured. Our objective was to identify and document the screening rates and adherence to ACS guidelines in our local uninsured community. Methods: Demographic data, cancer history and associated cancer screening measures were extracted from electronic medical records of patients managed in 8 free clinics between January 2016 and December 2017 in the Tampa Bay Area. Frequencies, proportions, and Pearson correlation coefficients were used to describe the population and statistically significant relationships. Using the ACS cancer screening recommendations, the charts were reviewed for appropriate cancer screening. Results: From manual chart review, 6,958 charts were reviewed and 201 (2.89%) patients had a diagnosis of cancer. The average age was 55.58 years and 134 (66.67%) were women. Most common malignancies included breast cancer (49, 24.38%), prostate (18, 8.96%), colorectal (13, 6.47%), leukemia/lymphoma (11, 5.47%), cervical (10, 4.98%), melanoma (10, 4.98%), ovarian (9, 4.48%), thyroid (9, 4.48%), renal (6, 2.99%), bladder (5, 2.49%), and uterine (5, 2.49%). Of the 201 patients diagnosed with cancer, 104 (51.74%) met the guidelines for a screening mammogram; however, only 49 (47.12%) had this completed. 115 (57.21%) met the guidelines for a screening Papanicolaou smear; 28 (24.35%) had it completed. 145 (72.14%) met the guidelines for a screening colonoscopy; 23 (15.86%) had it completed. 39 (19.4%) met the guidelines for prostate screening; 3 (7.69%) had it completed. Of the 201 patients, 14 (6.97%) reported a greater than 30 pack smoking history but no patients were screened with a low-dose CT of the thorax. Of the 10 patients with melanoma, 3 (30%) mentioned having routine skin exams. Conclusions: The uninsured population have many barriers to obtaining health care and appropriate screening for malignancies. This retrospective chart review highlights the need for easier access to screening. Increasing screening rates in the uninsured population will decrease cancer mortality as well as being cost effective to the community. It is important for free clinic providers to emphasize guideline-directed cancer screening at every visit.