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Invited Commentary |

What Is the Right Cancer Screening Rate for Older Adults?  Comment on ”Prevalence of Cancer Screening in Older, Racially Diverse Adults“

Louise C. Walter, MD
Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(22):2037-2038. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.556.
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Cancer screening rates are often used to measure of the quality of medical care. To define high quality, there are established target rates for screening in younger persons. For example, the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) and Veterans Affairs set target rates for screening persons aged 50 to 75 years for colorectal cancer, women aged 50 to 69 years for breast cancer, and women aged 21 to 64 years for cervical cancer.1 Age ranges for these quality measures are based on US Preventive Services Task Force guidelines. However, there are no quality measures that address appropriate target rates for cancer screening in persons older than 75 years.

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