Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 188–192 | Cite as

Brief Report: Exploration of Colorectal Cancer Risk Perceptions Among Latinos

  • Joseph A. Diaz
  • Roberta Goldman
  • Naira Arellano
  • Jeffrey Borkan
  • Charles B. Eaton
Brief Communication


To explore colorectal cancer risk perceptions among Latinos. Focus groups discussions among Spanish-speaking Latinos conducted between February and July 2007 with 37 men and women who were age-eligible for colorectal cancer screening. Predominant themes of perceived colorectal cancer risk included: general cancer risks, risks related to nutrition and the digestive tract, and risks related to sexual practices. Participants frequently referred to the role of diet in keeping the colon “clean,” suggesting that retained feces increase colorectal cancer risk. Among both men and women, rectal sex was commonly associated with increased colorectal cancer risk. Some Latinos may hold misperceptions about colorectal cancer risks, including an association between rectal sex and colon cancer, that may impact their screening behaviors. Clinicians and public health officials should consider these potential risk misperceptions and explore for other risk misperceptions when counseling and educating patients about colorectal cancer screening.


Colorectal cancer Hispanic Americans Cancer risk Focus groups 



This study was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute (1K07CA106780). The funders of this project (NIH/NCI), aside from initial peer review of the grant application and yearly progress reports, had no involvement in the study design, data collection, analysis, manuscript preparation, or decision to submit this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph A. Diaz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Roberta Goldman
    • 1
    • 3
  • Naira Arellano
    • 4
  • Jeffrey Borkan
    • 3
  • Charles B. Eaton
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Center for Primary Care and PreventionMemorial Hospital of Rhode IslandPawtucketUSA
  2. 2.Division of General Internal MedicineAlpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  3. 3.Department of Family MedicineAlpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  4. 4.Department of Community HealthAlpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA

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