Cancer Screening in the Homeless Population

Cancer Screening in the Homeless Population

Annually, 100 million people experience homelessness worldwide. Most adults that are struggling with homelessness are living to age 50 years or older and need age-appropriate screening for cancer. Cancer-related death in homeless adults is twice as high as the average in the adult population in the USA. However, few studies have examined the rates of and barriers to cancer screening in homeless people. This Review explores cancer-related health disparities between homeless people and the general population by providing a review of data and definitions relating to homelessness, an analysis of barriers to screening in this population, and a discussion of the current and potential interventions and strategies to improve cancer screening in homeless individuals. Recommendations include implementing appropriate data collection methods for this population, supporting cancer screening in places where homeless people usually access care, assessing the effectiveness of approaches to increasing cancer screening in homeless people, and addressing adequate housing as a fundamental social factor.

JOURNAL: Lancet Oncology
PUBLICATION DATE: 2018