Navigation Links
Obesity and cancer screening: Do race and gender also play a role?

(PHILADELPHIA) Researchers in Family and Community Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University recently found that obesity was linked to higher rates of prostate cancer screening across all races/ethnic differences and lower rates of cervical cancer screening, most notably in white women. Their study on the role of obesity in cancer screening rates for prostate, cervical as well as breast and colorectal cancers across race/ethnicity and gender is examined in the current issue of the Journal of Obesity.

"Numerous studies have suggested that obesity constitutes an obstacle to cancer screening, but a deeper examination also considering the role of race/ethnicity and gender in the equation has not been done before," said Heather Bittner Fagan, MD, FAAFP MPH, lead author and associate professor, Thomas Jefferson University and director of Health Services Research, department of Family and Community Medicine, Christiana Care Health System. "A greater understanding of the relationship between cancer screening and obesity, race/ethnicity and gender can also help explain the association between obesity and increased cancer mortality."

Obesity is second only to tobacco use as a risk factor for cancer and is associated with increased mortality for all cancer combined as well as for cancer of specific sites, including cancer of the colon/rectum, prostate, breast, and cervix.


In cervical cancer screening, increasing weight was consistently associated with lower rates of Pap smear use. Studies showed this to be most notable in white women, with black women, particularly black women of high socioeconomic status showing an absent or less strong association.

In contrast, prostate cancer screening levels were consistently shown to increase with weight. In three of four studies obese men were more likely to receive a PSA test for prostate cancer screening than their normal weight peers. This unique finding seems to remain across race/ethnicity differences.

"This could be explained by differences in access and utilization of health care; as weight increases so do other comorbid conditions, making heavier men higher users of health care and perhaps more encouraged to be tested by their health care provider," said Richard Wender, MD, professor at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and chair of Family and Community Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, an author on the study.

A review of breast cancer screening research showed no correlation between weight and mammography use in women. In the three studies examined that stratified the obesity-screening relationship according to race, one study showed obesity corresponded with a decreased use of mammography in white women and increased use in their black counterparts. Two of the three studies found a positive association between obesity and mammography use in black women, while one study showed no effect.

Similarly, higher weight women, according to the team's analysis, were less likely to be screened for colorectal cancer (CRC), though the data made no reference to disparities in screening levels between races; research showed inconsistencies in the association between obesity and CRC screening in men. The studies available on CRC screening looked at a variety of testing options, making direct comparison difficult. On the whole, research showed that endoscopy, not fecal occult blood test (FOBT), was more likely influenced by weight status, specifically in women. Researchers surmise that this could be related to the fact that endoscopy is more invasive and therefore more difficult on obese patients relative to other screening tests.


Cultural differences among men, women, blacks and whites as well as socioeconomic factors such as insurance status and access to health care, which can be confounded with race/ethnicity and gender, may limit or grant access to certain cancer screenings.

"We hope to have built a more detailed picture of the relationship between obesity and cancer screening to inform efforts to identify and reduce disparities in cancer screening," said Fagan and Wender.

"Screening behaviors can vary by ethnicity/race and gender, but more research is needed to create a comprehensive understanding of obesity and cancer screening in race-gender subgroups such as white men, white women, black men and black women, accounting for the effects of the doctor-patient relationship, access to care and type of screening test."


Contact: Lee-Ann Landis
Thomas Jefferson University

Related medicine news :

1. Obesity, Diabetes Pose 1-2 Threat to Young Americans
2. Are Global Market Forces Linked to Obesity Epidemic?
3. How obesity alters the brain area involved in body weight control
4. Mother-Toddler Bond May Influence Teen Obesity
5. Study links quality of mother-toddler relationship to teen obesity
6. Obesity Linked to Higher Esophageal Cancer Death Rates
7. As Obesity Rises, More Suffer From Acid Reflux
8. Supersized market economy, supersized belly: Wealthier nations have more fast food and more obesity
9. New evidence that bacteria in large intestine have a role in obesity
10. Obesity linked to higher 5-year death rate after esophageal cancer surgery
11. Obesity Linked to Lower Paychecks
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, ... the 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where ... city’s history as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop a weight loss fitness plan ... fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, , ... They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their exercise program ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to ... Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to ... fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Lewisville, TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... in the United States, named Dr. Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its ... be the facility Medical Director of our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland ... iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness ... & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 The Academy of Managed ... recommendations that would allow biopharmaceutical companies to more ... that make formulary and coverage decisions, a move that ... new medicines. The recommendations address restrictions in ... on the drug label, a prohibition that hinders decision ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... Diagnostic Tests" report to their offering. ... The World Market for Companion Diagnostics covers ... Market analysis in the report includes the following: ... Diagnostic Kits) by Region (N. America, EU, ROW), 2015-2020 ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... appointment of Dr. Edward Futcher to ... Director, effective June 23, 2016.Dr. Futcher was also ... and Governance Committees.  As a non-executive member of ... expertise and strategic counsel to VolitionRx in connection ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: