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Prev Med. 2007 Mar;44(3):241-5. Epub 2006 Oct 6.

Beliefs and interest in cancer risk in an underserved Latino cohort.

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City of Hope National Medical Center, Clinical Cancer Genetics Department, Duarte, CA 91010, USA.



To measure beliefs about cancer causation, cancer screening behaviors, access to information about and resources for cancer screening, and interest in cancer genetics services in two underserved predominantly Latino communities.


An anonymous survey, in both English and Spanish, was distributed at the registration desk to all attendees of selected general medicine clinics in two underserved healthcare systems.


There were a total of 312 respondents, representing 98% of eligible candidates. The reported data focus on 75.3% (n=235) of Latino respondents; mean age 43 years; 78% female; 72% less than high school education. Heredity was perceived as the most frequent cause of cancer, after smoking. Only 37% knew of free cancer screening programs. Over 85% expressed interest in obtaining information about personal cancer risk and motivation to participate in cancer genetics services.


The results of this survey demonstrate an awareness of heredity as a potential cause of cancer. The observed high level of interest in cancer genetics services suggests the acceptability of cancer genetics services in this predominantly underserved Latino population. Furthermore, cancer genetics services would likely augment awareness and utilization of available cancer screening services in the community.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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