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J Gen Intern Med. 2009 Nov;24 Suppl 2:S487-90. doi: 10.1007/s11606-009-1036-3.

Breast, colorectal and prostate cancer screening for cancer survivors and non-cancer patients in community practices.

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The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 195 Little Albany Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08903-2681, USA.



Cancer survivors have cancer surveillance and preventive screening needs that require monitoring. Little is known regarding their patterns of care in community primary care practices.


Secondary analysis of 750 baseline patient surveys and medical record audits for patients ages 50+ years in 25 community-based primary care practices (N = 109 survivors and 641 noncancer patients).


Patient self-reported screening rates for breast cancer (72%), colorectal cancer (81%) and prostate cancer (77%) were higher for cancer survivors compared to noncancer patients (69%, 67%, 53%, respectively). Screening rates documented in the primary care records were lower for all cancers. Cancer survivors were more likely than others to report having been screened for colorectal cancer (P = 0.002) even after excluding colorectal cancer survivors from the analysis (P = 0.034). Male cancer survivors were more likely to report being screened for prostate cancer than those without cancer (P < 0.001), even after excluding prostate cancer survivors (P = 0.020). There were no significant differences in either self-reported or medical record report of breast cancer screening rates among cancer survivors and noncancer patients.


Cancer survivors were more likely to self-report receipt of cancer screening than noncancer patients. Medical record reports of cancer screening were lower than self-reports for cancer survivors and noncancer patients. Identifying factors that affect cancer screening among cancer survivors is important and has implications for intervention design.

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