Lower Cancer Fatalism Tied to Increased Cancer Screening

People with better self-rated health, lower cancer fatalism more likely to undergo colorectal screening

TUESDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Better self-rated health and lower cancer fatalism are associated with greater participation in colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in England, and mediate the effect of socioeconomic status (SES) on fecal occult blood test (FOBt) uptake, according to a study published online Sept. 27 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Anne Miles, Ph.D., from Birkbeck University of London, and colleagues identified the psychological predictors of CRC screening and the factors affecting the associations between uptake and SES among a population cohort of 529 adults (aged 60 to 69 years) in England. Data for attitudes toward health and cancer fear were collected by postal surveys (2005 to 2006), which were then linked with data on FOBt uptake recorded at the screening hub in 2007.

The investigators found that screening uptake was 56 percent and was higher in individuals with higher SES, better self-rated health, higher self-efficacy beliefs, and lower cancer fatalism. For 515 participants with complete data, better self-rated health and lower cancer fatalism were directly correlated with higher FOBt screening uptake, and significantly mediated the association of SES to uptake. Lower depression had an indirect effect on uptake via better self-rated health, and the association between SES and uptake was not mediated by efficacy beliefs.

"SES differences in uptake of FOBt in England are partially explained by differences in cancer fatalism, self-rated health, and depression," the authors write.

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