Cancer 'fatalists' avoid screenings

Sept. 28, 2011 at 12:47 AM

LONDON, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- People with little money and so-called cancer fatalism may shy away from colorectal cancer screenings even if screenings are free, researchers in Britain say.

Anne Miles of Birkbeck, University of London, said those who feel screenings wouldn't help, or they were going to die of cancer anyway, often failed to comply with screening recommendations -- what psychologists call cancer fatalism.

"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," Miles said in a statement. "We wanted to find out what else was going on."

Miles and colleagues analyzed data from 529 adults age 60-69 who completed surveys measuring their socioeconomic status, self-rated health and rate of cancer fatalism. The measures were correlated against the rate of fecal occult blood testing.

The study found men and women with higher socioeconomic status, better self-rated health and lower cancer fatalism were 56 percent more likely than others to undergo the fecal occult blood colorectal cancer screening.

The findings were published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Device shown to 'smell' prostate cancer in men in trial
Scientists confirm second, more intense form of Lyme disease
Study: Sending fewer men to prison may slow spread of HIV
Einstein vindicated: Scientists find gravitational waves
Biden gathers forces to end cancer: Can he make a difference?