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Int J Surg. 2016 Dec;36(Pt A):312-318. doi: 10.1016/j.ijsu.2016.11.002. Epub 2016 Nov 3.

Public appreciation of lifestyle risk factors for colorectal cancer and awareness of bowel cancer screening: A cross-sectional study.

Author information

1
Blizard Institute, National Centre for Bowel Research & Surgical Innovation, Barts and the London School of Medicine & Dentistry, Queen Mary University London, 2 Newark Street, London, E1 2AT, United Kingdom. Electronic address: klynes@nhs.net.
2
Colorectal Unit, The Royal London Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust, Whitechapel Road, London, E1 1BB, United Kingdom.
3
Bowel & Cancer Research, 2 Newark Street, London, E1 2AT, United Kingdom.
4
Blizard Institute, National Centre for Bowel Research & Surgical Innovation, Barts and the London School of Medicine & Dentistry, Queen Mary University London, 2 Newark Street, London, E1 2AT, United Kingdom; Colorectal Unit, The Royal London Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust, Whitechapel Road, London, E1 1BB, United Kingdom.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Prevention of colorectal cancer (CRC) via reduction of lifestyle risk factors, and participation in bowel screening are two ways in which public engagement could lower mortality from colorectal cancer. This study examined public awareness of lifestyle risk factors and bowel screening, with determination of the factors affecting this.

METHODS:

A representative population sample (n = 1969) was surveyed using a study specific postal questionnaire to determine demographics, experience of bowel problems, awareness of lifestyle risk factors, knowledge about the incidence of CRC and potential benefits of screening, as well as personal experience of screening.

RESULTS:

The majority of respondents were aged over 50 (74%). 77% had either personal experience or a relative/friend with experience of a bowel problem. Knowledge of dietary advice was better than risks relating to weight and physical activity. Awareness of lifestyle risk factors was significantly worse in those less than 50 years old (p = 0.0004) and with a lower level of education (p = 0.0021). Awareness of bowel cancer diagnosis was significantly lower in those less than 50 years old (p=<0.0001). The most frequent reason for non-completion of a screening kit was that the process was dirty and unpleasant.

CONCLUSION:

Initiatives are required to improve awareness of younger people with regard to lifestyle risk factors for CRC, especially since this group stand to benefit most from risk reduction. Those with a lower educational level also had poor awareness but felt that the NHS should not prescribe exercise and lifestyle change; targeting this group would need to take this into account.

KEYWORDS:

Awareness; Colorectal cancer; Lifestyle; Risk factors; Screening

PMID:
27816703
DOI:
10.1016/j.ijsu.2016.11.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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