Almost 20 percent of the people in low-income communities who die of colon cancer could have been saved with early screening, according to new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and beyond the obvious human cost, those preventable deaths have a significant negative economic impact on those communities (Source: “Preventable Colon Cancer Deaths Cost The Economy $6.4 Billion,” National Public Radio, Nov. 13, 2015).
The CDC study found that lower-income communities in the United States face $6.4 billion in lost wages and productivity because of premature deaths due to colon cancer.
The researchers looked at colon cancer deaths from 2008 though 2012 for people between 50 and 74 years of age. They figured out the preventable deaths by comparing the death rates in high-income counties compared to those with lower incomes. The higher-income areas were defined as those in which at least 85 percent of the population had graduated from high school.