Article

Journal of Cancer Survivorship: Research and Practice

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 17-26

Screening practices in cancer survivors

  • Deborah K. MayerAffiliated withInstitute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies, Tufts-New England Medical Center Email author 
  • , Norma C. TerrinAffiliated withInstitute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies, Tufts-New England Medical Center
  • , Usha MenonAffiliated withCollege of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • , Gary L. KrepsAffiliated withDepartment of Communication, George Mason University
  • , Kathy McCanceAffiliated withCollege of Nursing, University of Utah
  • , Susan K. ParsonsAffiliated withInstitute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies, Tufts-New England Medical Center
  • , Kathleen H. MooneyAffiliated withCollege of Nursing, University of Utah

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Introduction

Ten percent of all new cancers are diagnosed in cancer survivors and second cancers are the sixth leading cause of cancer deaths. Little is known, however, about survivors’ screening practices for other cancers. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of a cancer diagnosis on survivors’ screening beliefs and practices compared to those without a cancer history.

Materials and methods

This study examined cancer survivors’ (n = 619) screening beliefs and practices compared to those without cancer (n = 2,141) using the National Cancer Institute’s 2003 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS).

Results

The typical participant was Caucasian, employed, married, and female with at least a high school education, having a regular health care provider and health insurance. Being a cancer survivor was significantly associated with screening for colorectal cancer but not for breast or prostate cancer screening. Screening adherence exceeded American Cancer Society recommendations, national prevalence data, and Healthy People 2010 goals for individual tests for both groups. Physician recommendations were associated with a higher level of screening but recommendations varied (highest for breast cancer and lowest for colorectal cancer screening).

Conclusions

Cancer survivors had different health beliefs and risk perceptions for screening compared to the NoCancer group. While there were no differences between survivors’ screening for breast and prostate cancer, survivors were more likely to screen for colorectal cancer than the comparison group. Screening adherence met or exceeded recommendations for individual tests for both cancer survivors and the comparison group.

Implications for cancer survivors

Cancer survivors should continue to work with their health care providers to receive age and gender appropriate screening for many types of cancers. Screening for other cancers should also be included in cancer survivorship care plans.

Keywords

Mammogram Papanicolaou test Prostate specific antigen Colorectal cancer screening Cancer survivors Cancer screening