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Sandy Srinivas, MD


Screening for Colorectal Cancer Among Prostate Cancer Survivors: Focus on Physical and Mental Health

By: Joshua D. Madera, MS
Posted: Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Despite the associated increased risk of colorectal carcinoma in prostate cancer survivors, screening adherence remains poor among certain racial and ethnic groups, according to a study published in JCO Oncology Practice. This decreased compliance may be associated with poor physical and/or mental health and therefore suggests that additional efforts should be dedicated to providing care directed at these components of wellness, explained Meng-Han Tsai, PhD, of the Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University, and colleagues.

“Poor mental and physical health may lead to cancer survivors who are less willing to seek other screening for secondary cancer prevention, such as colorectal cancer,” suggested Dr. Tsai and her collaborators.

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data were collected from 3,023 breast and prostate cancer survivors. All patients were assessed to determine their compliance with guideline-concordant colorectal cancer screening, as evidenced by a colonoscopy within 10 years, a sigmoidoscopy within 5 years, or a fecal occult blood test within 1 year. Sociodemographic characteristics were collected and compared. Mental and physical health was examined utilizing self-reported assessments by cancer survivors.

The study findings revealed that colorectal cancer screening compliance was decreased in non-Hispanic other/Hispanic prostate cancer survivors (67.7%) as compared with non-Hispanic Black (89%) and non-Hispanic White (82%) prostate cancer survivors. In addition, screening compliance was decreased in non-Hispanic Black (odds ratio [OR] = 0.32) and non-Hispanic other/Hispanic survivors (OR = 0.39) who had frequent poor mental health. This trend remained consistent in non-Hispanic Black (OR = 0.34) and non-Hispanic other/Hispanic (OR = 0.22) prostate cancer survivors with poor physical health.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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