Knowledge and beliefs about cancer in a socioeconomically disadvantaged population

Patrick J. Loehrer, Heidi A. Greger, Morris Weinberger, Beverly Musick, Michael Miller, Craig Nichols, John Bryan, Debra Higgs, Debra Brock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

91 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 (US)
Pages (from-to)1665-1671
Number of pages7
JournalCancer
Volume68
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 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

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Cite this

Knowledge and beliefs about cancer in a socioeconomically disadvantaged population. / Loehrer, Patrick J.; Greger, Heidi A.; Weinberger, Morris; Musick, Beverly; Miller, Michael; Nichols, Craig; Bryan, John; Higgs, Debra; Brock, Debra.

In: Cancer, Vol. 68, No. 7, 01.10.1991, p. 1665-1671.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Loehrer, PJ, 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. https://doi.org/10.1002/1097-0142(19911001)68:7<1665::AID-CNCR2820680734>3.0.CO;2-3
Loehrer, Patrick J. ; Greger, Heidi A. ; Weinberger, Morris ; Musick, Beverly ; Miller, Michael ; Nichols, Craig ; Bryan, John ; Higgs, Debra ; Brock, Debra. / Knowledge and beliefs about cancer in a socioeconomically disadvantaged population. In: Cancer. 1991 ; Vol. 68, No. 7. pp. 1665-1671.
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