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How personalization and machine learning can improve cancer outreach ROI

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Researchers from Texas A&M, Iowa State University, Rice, and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center published a new paper in the Journal of Marketing, which examines the efficacy of patient marketing.

The study, forthcoming in the May issue of the Journal of Marketing, is titled “Improving Cancer Outreach Effectiveness Through Targeting and Economic Assessments: Insights from a Randomized Field Experiment” and is authored by Yixing Chen, Ju-Yeon Lee, Shrihari Sridha, Vikas Mittal, and Amit G. Singal.

In 2018, over 1.7 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed in the United States and the cost of cancer care surpassed $147 billion. Many of these cases could have been prevented through regular cancer screening tests that open the door for early detection, more cost-effective treatment options, and better recovery prognosis. For example, regular screening reduces mortality rates for lung cancer by 28%, breast cancer by 24%, and liver cancer by 37%. Moreover, cancer screening can reduce the annual treatment cost for a patient by nearly $5,000.

Healthcare institutions rely on marketing interventions—or direct-to-patient outreach—to increase screening completion among at-risk patients. As an example, Johns Hopkins Hospital’s cancer center uses emails, letters, seminars, and community events to encourage screening completion among patients. Yet, according to a recent article in the LA Times, “just 4.2% of patients in the United States who are at high risk for lung cancer get screened for it—a figure seen as alarmingly low by those who work in the area of prevention.” Could it be that the 1.7 million outreach interventions launched in 2015 and $123 million spent on prevention and education efforts go to waste?

The research team used a multi-period randomized field experiment with at-risk patients for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of primary liver cancer. Patients were randomly

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Panic Disorder Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information

What is a panic disorder test?

Panic disorder is a condition in which you have frequent panic attacks. A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear and anxiety. In addition to emotional distress, a panic attack can cause physical symptoms. These include chest pain, rapid heartbeat, and shortness of breath. During a panic attack, some people think they are having a heart attack. A panic attack can last anywhere from a few minutes to over an hour.

Some panic attacks happen in response to a stressful or scary situation, such as a car accident. Other attacks happen without a clear reason. Panic attacks are common, affecting at least 11% of adults each year. Many people have one or two attacks in their lifetime and recover without treatment.

But if you have repeated, unexpected panic attacks and are in constant fear of getting a panic attack, you may have panic disorder. Panic disorder is rare. It only affects 2 to 3 percent of adults each year. It’s twice as common in women than in men.

While panic disorder is not life-threatening, it can be upsetting and affect your quality of life. If left untreated, it can lead to other serious problems, including depression and substance use. A panic disorder test can help diagnose the condition so you can get the right treatment.

Other names: panic disorder screening

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