On the October 28 broadcast of Mayo Clinic Radio, Minetta Liu, M.D., an oncologist and Research Chair for Mayo Clinic's Division of Medical Oncology, discussed the latest results of the Mayo Clinic National Health Checkup.
Twice a year, Mayo Clinic conducts a survey called the National Health Checkup. The goal of the survey is to empower and educate people to take charge of their own health and wellness. The recent survey focused on cancer and found that more than 60% of Americans have experienced cancer in some way.
The survey also revealed that many barriers get in the way of cancer care, such as financial concerns, insurance, or even making time to schedule and attend an appointment.
"We see it all the time in those patients who come to see us at Mayo Clinic that they are worried about what their insurance is going to cover, what their deductible is going to be, and who's going to define where they can go," said Dr. Liu. "So, those are the realities that we need to face as our health care environment is evolving minute by minute."
In addition to medical costs, there's additional costs that people experience.
According to Dr. Liu, "There's an emotional cost, a financial cost, and a family cost that come from a diagnosis of cancer. So, when we say that 60% of the respondents said that they were touched by cancer—either personally or through a loved one—and you expand that circle to people we know, it's close to 100%."
Looking at cancer from a positive perspective, the survey found that the majority of people have hope that, in time, there will be cures for all types of cancer. There are also things that people can do to help prevent cancer, including eating well, not drinking alcohol, exercising, and not smoking.
Listen to the Podcast
To listen to the interview, the radio segment featuring Dr. Liu begins at 1:00 and runs through 18:28. If you have time, the full show also includes Myra Wick, M.D., Ph.D., a medical geneticist at Mayo Clinic who explains the latest advances in prenatal screening. And Karthik Balakrishnan, M.D., an otolaryngologist at Mayo Clinic who discusses treatment for pediatric ear, nose, and throat problems.