Evidence suggests that colorectal cancer (CRC) screening reduces disease-specific mortality, whereas the utility of prostate cancer screening remains uncertain. However, adherence rates for prostate cancer screening and CRC screening are very similar, with population-based studies showing that approximately 50% of eligible US men are adherent to both tests. Among men scheduled to participate in a free prostate cancer screening program, the authors assessed the rates and correlates of CRC screening to determine the utility of this setting for addressing CRC screening nonadherence.
Participants (N = 331) were 50 to 70 years old with no history of prostate cancer or CRC. Men registered for free prostate cancer screening and completed a telephone interview 1 to 2 weeks before undergoing prostate cancer screening.
One half of the participants who underwent free prostate cancer screening were eligible for but nonadherent to CRC screening. Importantly, 76% of the men who were nonadherent to CRC screening had a regular physician and/or health insurance, suggesting that CRC screening adherence was feasible in this group. Furthermore, multivariate analyses indicated that the only significant correlates of CRC screening adherence were having a regular physician, health insurance, and a history of prostate cancer screening.
Free prostate cancer screening programs may provide a teachable moment to increase CRC screening among men who may not have the usual systemic barriers to CRC screening, at a time when they may be very receptive to cancer screening messages. In the United States, a large number of men participate in annual free prostate cancer screening programs and represent an easily accessible and untapped group that can benefit from interventions to increase CRC screening rates. Cancer 2010. © 2010 American Cancer Society.