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J Community Health. 2008 Feb;33(1):10-21.

Previous cancer screening behavior as predictor of endoscopic colon cancer screening among women aged 50 and over, in NYC 2002.

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Department of Epidemiology, Joseph A. Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, 722 West 168Th St, 720, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Colon cancer screening rates in women are low. Whether screening for breast and cervical cancer is associated with colon cancer screening behavior is unknown but could provide linkage opportunities. To identify the extent to which both breast and cervical cancer screening increases uptake of colon cancer screening among women in New York City. Women at least 50 years old completed questionnaires for the New York Cancer Project. Analyses compared rates of endoscopic colon cancer screening with adherence to screening recommendations for breast and cervical cancer. Of the 3,386 women, 87.8% adhered to breast and cervical cancer screening guidelines, yet only 42.1% had received endoscopic colon cancer screening. Most women with colon cancer screening (95%) also reported past mammogram and Pap-smear. In multivariable analysis, women who adhered to the other two procedures were more likely to have had colon cancer screening than women with no prior history (OR = 4.4; CI = 2.36, 8.20), after accounting for age, race/ethnicity, insurance status, family history of cancer and income. Significant predictors of endoscopic colon cancer screening included: age over 65 years (OR = 1.63; CI = 1.23, 2.15) with 50-65 years old as the reference, any health insurance (OR = 2.18; CI = 1.52, 3.13) and a family history of cancer (OR = 1.38; CI = 1.17, 1.61). Colorectal cancer screening remains low, even among women who undergo other cancer screening tests. Opportunities to link cancer screening tests to encourage colon cancer screening merit closer attention.

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