Cancer, not Zika or HIV, scares Americans most

New York, Sep 14 (IANS) While Zika remains a hot topic in the news, a new survey has revealed that of all the health conditions it is cancer — particularly brain cancer — that concerns most Americans, even more than obesity and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

In fact, in the survey by Mayo Clinic, infectious diseases such as Zika and Ebola tied with HIV/AIDS as the least important health care challenges listed by respondents.

These findings were uncovered as part of the second Mayo Clinic National Health Checkup — the first of which was launched in January 2016 — and provides a quick pulse on consumer health opinions and behaviours.

“With the most recent pulse, we explored consumer perceptions about hot topics in health care, cancer, brain health and sleep,” John Wald, Medical Director for Public Affairs at Mayo Clinic, said in a statement.

While respondents listed cancer as the most important health care challenge, nearly three-quarters believed that at least some progress was being made to address it.

Americans were most likely to say that progress was being made with heart disease (83 per cent) and least likely to answer that progress was being made with obesity (52 per cent).

More respondents consider brain cancer as the most concerning type of the disease, the results showed.

“A cancer diagnosis is scary for anyone, no matter the type,” Wald said.

“The positive thing is that early detection and treatment can significantly improve patient outcomes, and we have excellent screenings for many of these cancers. Today, the five-year survival rate for all breast cancers is 91 per cent — in large part because of early detection and advances in treatment,” Wald pointed out.

–IANS

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