Fatalism Keeps Many From Colon Cancer
TUESDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- A fatalistic attitude
contributes to low colorectal cancer screening rates among poorer
people, even when the screening and cancer care are free, according
to U.K. researchers.
The researchers analyzed data from a series of surveys of 529
adults, aged 60 to 69, and the study findings are slated for
publication in the journal
Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.
"In England, the screenings are free and the subsequent health treatments are free as well, yet people of lower socioeconomic status still do not get screened. We wanted to find out what else was going on," Anne Miles, a lecturer in psychology at the University of London, said in a journal news release.
She and her colleagues found that poorer people who felt that
colorectal cancer screenings wouldn't help, or that they were going
to die of cancer anyway, often ignored screening
The surveys completed by the participants collected information
about their economic status, self-rated health and rate of cancer
fatalism. Researchers compared those findings to the rate of a
colorectal cancer screening method called fecal occult blood
Men and women with higher socioeconomic status, better
self-rated health and lower cancer fatalism were 56 percent more
likely to have a fecal occult blood test.
It might be possible to reduce cancer fatalism if it is properly
identified in patients, Miles suggested in the news release.
"There is clearly something else going on here besides costs. We need to understand people's attitudes toward screening," she said. "If they think it won't help, they won't do it, even if it's free."
The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about
colorectal cancer screening.
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