Cancer screening is a complex decision and early detection of cancer will help in effective treatment of cancer, but it can create problems for others leading to unnecessary testing and treatment. Celebrities have powerful impact on the public and that their influence can be used for early detection of cancer//
More than 40% of adults surveyed in a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported that they had seen or heard celebrity encouraging people to undergo cancer screening and they reported that the celebrities’ involvement in the campaign encouraged them to undergo the screening test.
Results of a telephonic interview conducted in American adults reported that almost three-quarters (73%) of women age 40 and older (the age group potentially eligible for breast cancer screening) reported that they had seen or heard celebrities talk about mammograms, and, of these women, 25% said that it made them more likely to undergo screening mammography. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of men age 50 and older reported that they had seen or heard celebrities talk about PSA tests, and, of these men, 31% said it made them more likely to undergo PSA testing.
The authors of the study said that, "Whether to undergo cancer screening is a complex decision--early detection of cancer will help some people, but it can create problems for others, such as unnecessary testing and treatment," the authors write. "There is little question that celebrities can have a powerful impact on the public and that their influence can be put to good use. However, when it comes to public health endorsements, we feel that celebrities should be judicious in using their powers of persuasion and when it comes to communicating about complex decisions such as cancer screening, the goal should not be to persuade but to inform."
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