Assessing Colorectal Cancer Screening Behaviors and Knowledge among At-Risk Hispanics in Southern New Mexico


Purpose: Colorectal cancer (CRC) mortality rates in New Mexico (NM) continue to be higher than national rates. Hispanic CRC mortality rates in NM surpass those of overall Hispanics in the US. This study was designed to characterize and understand factors contributing to low CRC screening rates in this border region. Methods: A CRC Knowledge Assessment Survey (KAS) was administered in either English or Spanish to 247 individuals attending community events throughout southern NM. A subset of these individuals completed an online CRC risk assessment survey managed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Data analysis tested for significant differences in knowledge, physician-patient CRC interactions, CRC risk level perception, and screening rates across diverse ethnic and age groups. Results: Both CRC knowledge and physician-patient CRC interactions were positively associated with participant screening history. Significant age and ethnic differences for CRC knowledge, physician-patient CRC interactions, and screening history in the NM border sample were also seen. Age-eligible Hispanics (50+) as well as those less than 50 years of age had lower CRC knowledge and were less likely to engage in physician-patient CRC interactions than non-Hispanic Whites (NHWs). The age-eligible Hispanics also reported lower CRC screening rates than their NHW counterparts. Conclusions: Low CRC knowledge and limited physician-patient CRC interactions appear to contribute to low screening rates in this NM population. Expanding education and outreach efforts for this border population are essential to promote early CRC detection and thereby decrease overall CRC mortality rates.

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J. Sanchez, R. Palacios, B. Thompson, V. Martinez and M. O’Connell, "Assessing Colorectal Cancer Screening Behaviors and Knowledge among At-Risk Hispanics in Southern New Mexico," Journal of Cancer Therapy, Vol. 4 No. 6B, 2013, pp. 15-25. doi: 10.4236/jct.2013.46A2003.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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