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J Cancer Educ. 2003 Spring;18(1):43-7.

Cancer coverage in North American publications targeting seniors.

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Department of Health Studies and Gerontology, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.



Print media are widely used for disseminating cancer information to seniors. It is important that older adults receive accurate and understandable cancer information since age is the major risk factor for most common cancers.


This study evaluated the volume and scope of cancer coverage in mass circulating print media that specifically target seniors. Eight English-language seniors' publications (551 issues) were assessed for cancer coverage.


Between 1990 and 2000, 226 cancer articles were identified. Significant differences in the inclusion of mobilizing information by cancer site were found, with the highest percentage found in articles about breast cancer (67%). The SMOG test indicated a mean readability score of grade 12.47. CONCLUSIONS. The findings suggest the need for lower article readability levels and inclusion of more mobilizing information in cancer articles targeting seniors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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