Navigation Links
Survey Finds Many Women Misinformed About Cancer

Deaths rates could be cut with more testing and early detection,,,,

FRIDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Sixty-three percent of American women think that if there's no family history of cancer, you're not likely to develop the disease, a new survey found.

In fact, most people who develop cancer have no family history of cancer, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), which sponsored the survey. The survey underscores the need for better education and understanding of the steps women can take to prevent cancer and to detect it early.

"Too many women are dying from cancer," Dr. Douglas W. Laube, ACOG's immediate past president and chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, said during a Friday teleconference. "An estimated 200,070 women will die in the U.S this year, and over 600,078 women will be diagnosed with cancer. The results of this survey found a worrisome gap in women's knowledge about cancer."

Based on the findings, ACOG is increasing its efforts to educate women about cancer and the need for regular screening tests, such as Pap tests, mammograms and colonoscopies.

Although the survey found many misconceptions about cancer, 76 percent of women surveyed did say they feel knowledgeable about how they can reduce their risk of the disease.

However, only 52 percent said they're doing enough to reduce that risk. And 10 percent said they hadn't done anything in the past year to lower their risk. Seventeen percent said they wouldn't change their lifestyles, even if changes would lower their cancer risk.

Many women said they were afraid to undergo screening out of fear of finding cancer. Twenty percent said they didn't want to know if they had cancer.

Other survey findings included:

  • Only 56 percent of women had seen a doctor in the past year, but 77 percent said regular physician visits help reduce the risk of cancer.
  • 29 percent of women haven't seen a doctor on a regular basis or had a Pap test or a mammogram in the past year.
  • 18 percent said Pap tests and mammograms weren't necessary, 7 percent said they didn't know how to get screened, and 7 percent thought screening was a waste of time.
  • 37 percent of the women said they couldn't afford to see a doctor.

Michael Stefanek, director of behavioral research at the American Cancer Society, said the survey results mirrored other study findings.

"The data is not inconsistent with what we know about women's knowledge and screening practices," he said. "We need to do a better job alerting women that they are at risk for cancer even if they have no family history."

Stefanek noted that U.S. cancer deaths dropped an average 2.1 percent each year from 2002 through 2004 -- double the average 1.1 percent decline seen from 1993 through 2002. This improvement is largely due to better cancer screening and early detection, he said.

Stenfanek also thinks more women need to be screened, and there needs to be greater access to health care so women can get the care they require.

In response to these findings, ACOG will launch on Oct. 29 a new Web site -- Protect & Detect: What Women Should Know about Cancer. The guide is designed to help women, working with their ob-gyns, to take charge of their health and improve their understanding of their risk of cancer -- and the lifestyle steps they can take to cut that risk.

ACOG has also developed new guidelines for colorectal cancer screening. The guidelines recommend that women, starting at 50, receive a colonoscopy every 10 years. Colonoscopy is the "gold standard" for preventing colorectal cancer because of its ability to detect precancerous lesions and remove them during the procedure.

While ACOG is recommending colonoscopy for women at high risk for colon cancer, it's also recommending the procedure for women at average risk.

Not all experts agree with that approach.

"There are other methods that are acceptable if you choose not to get colonoscopy," said Robert Smith, director of cancer screening at the American Cancer Society. "Not all women are going to have access to colonoscopy or affordable colonoscopy."

Virtual CT colonoscopy may be as effective as a colonoscopy for detecting serious lesions, Smith said. Other screening tests include fecal occult blood tests and sigmoidoscopy, he said.

For women who have a low risk of colon cancer, other screening methods are effective, Smith said. "However, for women who have a family history or personal history of colorectal cancer, colonoscopy is the preferred test," he said.

More information

For more on woman and cancer, visit the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

SOURCES: Michael Stefanek, Ph.D., behavioral research director, Behavioral Research Center, and Robert Smith, Ph.D., director, cancer screening, both American Cancer Society, Atlanta; Oct. 26, 2007, teleconference with Douglas W. Laube, M.D., M.Ed., immediate past president, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and chairman, department of obstetrics and gynecology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison

Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Eating disorder... a survey
2. Happiness Survey
3. Survey shows how bipolar disorder affects the quality of life for patients
4. Over Six Million HIV Infected People In South Africa- Finds A Survey
5. Rural India shows apathy towards dental problems: Survey
6. Survey finds that discussion with family very crucial in organ donation decision
7. Insomnia Hits Many Canadians: Survey
8. Scotland Ranked As Sickest Area Of UK: Survey
9. Americans Not Interested In Choosing Sex Of Child: Survey
10. A National Survey Revealed That Mental Disorders Are Common In Lebanon
11. Ignorance about AIDS rampart in Third of College Students: Chinese survey
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Bcureful—a non-profit organization devoted to ... raising public awareness of the disorder while helping to bring expert medical care ... to bolster progress at the Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Center at Ann & Robert ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... to offer their patients the many benefits of the revolutionary BIOLASE WaterLase iPlus ... cutting and scraping tools traditionally used by a dentist in Gettysburg, PA ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... ThirdLove, the fast-growing bra company that ... offering 40% off select bras and underwear styles, now through Saturday, November 28th. ... technology and the latest fashion, quickly becoming the next generation of luxury bras. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... Preparing for the LDT Regulation:, CLIA Won’t Satisfy the ... , FDA has long asserted that design and manufacture of Laboratory Developed Tests ... do not meet the device regulations. , Come up short in an inspection and ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... United Benefit Advisors (UBA), ... & Company as its newest Partner Firm. Based in Jefferson City, Missouri, their ... trusted advisor regardless of whether that client is a business, a family, or ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , November 25, 2015 ... Investors"), pursuant to which BioLight and the New Investors ... Ltd. subsidiary ("IOPtima") via a private placement. The financing ... its innovative IOPtimate™ system used in the treatment of ... pathway process for the IOPtimate™ system with the U.S. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 Developmental, commercial, and regulatory/legal ... profitability of pharmaceutical products, says GBI Research ... regulatory/legal strategies all play a key role in boosting ... . --> Developmental, commercial, ... in boosting the profitability of pharmaceutical products, says ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Research and Markets ( ) has ... Global Forecast to 2020" report to their offering. ... 37.21% of the total market share in 2014. The ... is projected to growth at the highest CAGR between ... to the fast growing water, industrial gas treatment, pharmaceutical, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: