Many too busy, fearful of colon screening

June 19, 2011 at 5:43 PM

WASHINGTON, June 19 (UPI) -- Thirty-one percent of men and women age 50 and older have never been screened for colon cancer, a U.S. survey indicates.

The survey, commissioned by Colon Cancer Alliance and Quest Diagnostics, and conducted by ORC International indicates almost one-third of men and women age 50 and older -- the age most are recommended to be screened for colon cancer -- were never screened for colon cancer by standard screening methods such as a colonoscopy, fecal occult blood tests and fecal immunochemical tests.

Among those age 50 and older who were never screened for colon cancer, the top reasons they were not screened were:

-- 28 percent say their healthcare provider -- doctor or nurse -- never recommended the screenings.

-- 18 percent say they were too busy or time constraints.

-- 16 percent say fear.

-- 16 percent say they didn't know they needed to be screened.

-- 15 percent say they can't afford the health insurance co-payment.

-- 10 percent say they don't have health insurance.

-- 9 percent say modesty or embarrassment.

Among the 69 percent who report they have been screened for colon cancer, 87 percent say they were screened with a colonoscopy.

Seventy-eight percent say they were likely to take a blood test for colon cancer screening compared to 18 percent who said they were unlikely to take a blood test and 4 percent who don't know, the survey says.

The telephone study of 1,304 men and women age 50 and older was conducted in May. No margin of error was provided.

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