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BMC Gastroenterol. 2006 Jun 6;6:18.

Colorectal cancer screening awareness among physicians in Greece.

Author information

  • 1Panhellenic Association for Continual Medical Research (PACMeR) Sections of Public-Health, 28, Karolou st, 10438 Athens, Greece. xylom_ap@yahoo.gr

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Data comparison between SEER and EUROCARE database provided evidence that colorectal cancer survival in USA is higher than in European countries. Since adjustment for stage at diagnosis markedly reduces the survival differences, a screening bias was hypothesized. Considering the important role of primary care in screening activities, the purpose of the study was to investigate the colorectal cancer screening awareness among Hellenic physicians.

METHODS:

211 primary care physicians were surveyed by mean of a self-reported prescription-habits questionnaire. Both physicians' colorectal cancer screening behaviors and colorectal cancer screening recommendations during usual check-up visits were analyzed.

RESULTS:

Only 50% of physicians were found to recommend screening for colorectal cancer during usual check-up visits, and only 25% prescribed cost-effective procedures. The percentage of physicians recommending stool occult blood test and sigmoidoscopy was 24% and 4% respectively. Only 48% and 23% of physicians recognized a cancer screening value for stool occult blood test and sigmoidoscopy. Colorectal screening recommendations were statistically lower among physicians aged 30 or less (p = 0.012). No differences were found when gender, level and type of specialization were analyzed, even though specialists in general practice showed a trend for better prescription (p = 0.054).

CONCLUSION:

Contemporary recommendations for colorectal cancer screening are not followed by implementation in primary care setting. Education on presymptomatic control and screening practice monitoring are required if primary care is to make a major impact on colorectal cancer mortality.

PMID:
16756674
PMCID:
PMC1513238
DOI:
10.1186/1471-230X-6-18
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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