Journal of Community Health

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 1–9 | Cite as

Has the Surge in Media Attention Increased Public Awareness About Colorectal Cancer and Screening?

  • Paul C. SchroyIII
  • Julie T. Glick
  • Patricia A. Robinson
  • Maria A. Lydotes
  • Stephen R. Evans
  • Karen M. Emmons
Original Paper

Abstract

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Screen for Life campaign in March 1999 followed by the creation of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in March 2000 heralded a surge in media attention to promote awareness about CRC and stimulate interest in screening. Our objective was to assess whether these campaigns have achieved their goal of educating the public about CRC and screening. The study sample was comprised of mostly unscreened, average-risk, English-speaking patients aged 50–75 years seen in an urban primary care setting. Knowledge was assessed using a 12-item true/false questionnaire based primarily on the content of key messages endorsed by the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (Cancer 95:1618–1628, 2002) and adopted in many of the media campaigns. Multiple linear regression was performed to identify demographic correlates of knowledge. A total of 356 subjects (83% <age 65, 58% female, 60% Black, 7% Hispanic, 60% ≤high school degree, 31% prior FOBT ) were surveyed. Most respondents (≥67%) were aware of who gets CRC, age to initiate screening, the goals of screening and potential benefits. Fewer were aware that removing polyps can prevent CRC and that both polyps and CRC may be asymptomatic. Knowledge scores were lower among Blacks and those with a high school degree or less. Race and education were independent correlates of knowledge. These data suggest that recent media campaigns have been effective in increasing public awareness about CRC risk and screening but important gaps in knowledge remain.

Keywords

Colorectal cancer Screening Public awareness Patient education Media campaigns 

References

  1. 1.
    Winawer, S. J., Fletcher, R. H., Miller, L., et al. (1997). Colorectal cancer screening: Clinical guidelines and rationale. Gastroenterology, 112, 594–642.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Pignone, M., Saha, S., Hoerger, T., & Mandelblatt, J. (2002). Cost-effectiveness analyses of colorectal cancer screening: A systematic review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Annals of Internal Medicine, 137, 96–104.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Maciosek, M. V., Solberg, L. I., Coffield, A. B., Edwards, N. M., & Goodman, M. J. (2006). Colorectal cancer screening: Health impact and cost effectiveness. American journal of Preventive Medicine, 31, 80–89.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Rex, D. K., Johnson, D. A., Lieberman, D. A., Burt, R. W., & Sonnenberg, A. (2000). Colorectal cancer prevention 2000: Screening recommendations of the American College of Gastroenterology. American College of Gastroenterology. American Journal of Gastroenterology, 95, 868–877.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Winawer, S., Fletcher, R., Rex, D., et al. (2003). Colorectal cancer screening and surveillance: clinical guidelines and rationale-Update based on new evidence. Gastroenterology, 124, 544–560.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Smith, R. A., Cokkinides, V., von Eschenbach, A. C., et al. (2002). American Cancer Society guidelines for the early detection of cancer. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 52, 8–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Pignone, M., Rich, M., Teutsch, S. M., Berg, A. O., & Lohr, K. N. (2002). Screening for colorectal cancer in adults at average risk: A summary of the evidence for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Annals of Internal Medicine, 137, 132–141.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2006). Increased use of colorectal cancer tests–United States, 2002 and 2004. MMWR Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 55, 308–311.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Vernon, S. W. (1997). Participation in colorectal cancer screening: A review. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 89, 1406–1422.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Klabunde, C. N., Schenck, A. P., & Davis, W. W. (2006). Barriers to colorectal cancer screening among Medicare consumers. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 30, 313–319.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Klabunde, C. N., Vernon, S. W., Nadel, M. R., Breen, N., Seeff, L. C., & Brown, M. L. (2005). Barriers to colorectal cancer screening: A comparison of reports from primary care physicians and average-risk adults. Medical Care, 43, 939–944.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    McQueen, A., Vernon, S. W., Meissner, H. I., Klabunde, C. N., & Rakowski, W. (2006). Are there gender differences in colorectal cancer test use prevalence and correlates?. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, 15, 782–791.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lipkus, I. M., Rimer, B. K., Lyna, P. R., Pradhan, A. A., Conaway, M., & Woods-Powell, C. T. (1996). Colorectal screening patterns and perceptions of risk among African-American users of a community health center. Journal of Community Health, 21, 409–427.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Lipkus, I. M., Lyna, P. R., & Rimer, B. K. (2000). Colorectal cancer risk perceptions and screening intentions in a minority population. Journal of the National Medical Association, 92, 492–500.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    James, A. S., Campbell, M. K., & Hudson, M. A. (2002). Perceived barriers and benefits to colon cancer screening among African Americans in North Carolina: How does perception relate to screening behavior? Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, 11, 529–534.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Holmes-Rovner, M., Williams, G. A., Hoppough, S., Quillan, L., Butler, R., & Given, C. W. (2002). Colorectal cancer screening barriers in persons with low income. Cancer Practice, 10, 240–247.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Wee, C. C., McCarthy, E. P., & Phillips, R. S. (2005). Factors associated with colon cancer screening: The role of patient factors and physician counseling. Preventive Medicine, 41, 23–29.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Jorgensen, C. M., Gelb, C. A., Merritt, T. L., & Seeff, L. C. (2001). Observations from the CDC: CDC’s screen for life: A National Colorectal Cancer Action Campaign. Journal of Women's Health & Gender-Based Medicine, 10, 417–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Screen for life campaign. Available from URL: http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/sfl/ [accessed April 1, 2007].
  20. 20.
    Levin, B., Smith, R. A., Feldman, G. E., et al. (2002). Promoting early detection tests for colorectal carcinoma and adenomatous polyps: A framework for action: the strategic plan of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable. Cancer, 95, 1618–1628.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Colorectal cancer. Available from URL: http://www.mass.gov/dph/cancer/colorectal_cancer.htm [accessed April 1, 2007].
  22. 22.
    Ford, J. S., Coups, E. J., & Hay, J. L. (2006). Knowledge of colon cancer screening in a national probability sample in the United States. Journal of Health Communication, 11(Suppl 1), 19–35.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Shokar, N. K., Vernon, S. W., & Weller, S. C. (2005). Cancer and colorectal cancer: knowledge, beliefs, and screening preferences of a diverse patient population. Family Medicine, 37, 341–347.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Greiner, K. A., Born, W., Nollen, N., & Ahluwalia, J. S. (2005). Knowledge and perceptions of colorectal cancer screening among urban African Americans. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 20, 977–983.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Colorectal cancer campaign overview—2007. Available from URL: http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/pdf/backgrounder_2007.pdf [accessed April 4, 2007].
  26. 26.
    Cram, P., Fendrick, A. M., Inadomi, J., Cowen, M. E., Carpenter, D., & Vijan, S. (2003). The impact of a celebrity promotional campaign on the use of colon cancer screening: The Katie Couric effect. Archives of Internal Medicine, 163, 1601–1605.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Powe, B. D., Finnie, R., & Ko, J. (2006). Enhancing knowledge of colorectal cancer among African Americans: why are we waiting until age 50? Gastroenterology Nursing, 29, 42–49.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul C. SchroyIII
    • 1
  • Julie T. Glick
    • 2
  • Patricia A. Robinson
    • 2
  • Maria A. Lydotes
    • 2
  • Stephen R. Evans
    • 3
  • Karen M. Emmons
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Section of GastroenterologyBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA
  2. 2.Section of GastroenterologyBoston Medical CenterBostonUSA
  3. 3.Data Coordinating CenterBoston University School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  4. 4.Center for Community Based ResearchDana Farber Cancer InstituteBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations