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Prev Med. 2003 Jan;36(1):85-91.

Correlates of underutilization of colorectal cancer screening among U.S. adults, age 50 years and older.

Author information

1
National Home Office, American Cancer Society, Atlanta, Georgia 30329, USA. vcokkini@cancer.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although effective screening for colorectal cancer (CRC) exists, only 37% of incident CRC are diagnosed at a localized stage at which treatment is effective. We identified demographic and other characteristics of adults (> or = 50 years old) who reported no CRC screening.

METHODS:

We calculated the prevalence of never having had a fecal occult blood test and/or a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy by age, sex, and other factors using the 1999 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data.

RESULTS:

CRC screening tests were underutilized across all segments of the population. Underutilization was highest in persons aged 50-64 years and those with lower education and a lack of health insurance and preventive services.

CONCLUSIONS:

The data indicate that large proportions of average-risk adults across various sociodemographics and behavioral factors are not utilizing recommended CRC screening tests. There is a need to increase the awareness of the importance of utilizing effective CRC screening tests for the early detection of colorectal cancers.

PMID:
12473428
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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