Knowledge and beliefs about cancer in a socioeconomically disadvantaged population

Patrick Loehrer, H. A. Greger, M. Weinberger, B. Musick, M. Miller, C. Nichols, J. Bryan, D. Higgs, D. Brock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

90 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Americans living in poverty experience a higher incidence of and greater mortality from cancer than the nonpoor. At least 50% of the difference in mortality is believed to be due to delay in diagnosis, although risk- promoting lifestyles and behaviors also contribute to decreased survival. A potential exacerbating factor among the poor is inadequate information and knowledge about cancer and its treatment. Interviews were conducted with 128 cancer patients from a socioeconomically disadvantaged population to assess knowledge of cancer and its treatment and to evaluate care-seeking behaviors. Results indicated that although patients relied primarily on their physicians for information about their disease and treatment, a number of misconceptions regarding cancer existed in this population. Notably, nearly 50% of the patients surveyed either denied or did not know that smoking was related to the development of cancer. Additionally, patients frequently reported inappropriate care-seeking behaviors when asked to respond to a series of common disease-related signs or symptoms. These findings suggest that misinformation and misconceptions regarding cancer and its treatment among patients in this sample may contribute to inappropriate care-seeking behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1665-1671
Number of pages7
JournalCancer
Volume68
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1991

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Vulnerable Populations
Population
Neoplasms
Mortality
Therapeutics
Poverty
Signs and Symptoms
Life Style
Smoking
Communication
Interviews
Physicians
Survival
Incidence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

Cite this

Loehrer, P., Greger, H. A., Weinberger, M., Musick, B., Miller, M., Nichols, C., ... Brock, D. (1991). Knowledge and beliefs about cancer in a socioeconomically disadvantaged population. Cancer, 68(7), 1665-1671.

Knowledge and beliefs about cancer in a socioeconomically disadvantaged population. / Loehrer, Patrick; Greger, H. A.; Weinberger, M.; Musick, B.; Miller, M.; Nichols, C.; Bryan, J.; Higgs, D.; Brock, D.

In: Cancer, Vol. 68, No. 7, 1991, p. 1665-1671.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Loehrer, P, Greger, HA, Weinberger, M, Musick, B, Miller, M, Nichols, C, Bryan, J, Higgs, D & Brock, D 1991, 'Knowledge and beliefs about cancer in a socioeconomically disadvantaged population', Cancer, vol. 68, no. 7, pp. 1665-1671.
Loehrer P, Greger HA, Weinberger M, Musick B, Miller M, Nichols C et al. Knowledge and beliefs about cancer in a socioeconomically disadvantaged population. Cancer. 1991;68(7):1665-1671.
Loehrer, Patrick ; Greger, H. A. ; Weinberger, M. ; Musick, B. ; Miller, M. ; Nichols, C. ; Bryan, J. ; Higgs, D. ; Brock, D. / Knowledge and beliefs about cancer in a socioeconomically disadvantaged population. In: Cancer. 1991 ; Vol. 68, No. 7. pp. 1665-1671.
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