Public Awareness of Colorectal Cancer in a Turkish Population: Importance of Fecal Occult Blood Testing


To date, there was no controlled-study regarding awareness and knowledge of colorectal cancer in theTurkish population. We therefore designed a questionnaire consisting of items related to socio-demographicparameters, medical and family history and questions of awareness and knowledge about colorectal cancer foruse in a descriptive cross-sectional study. An interviewer-administered technique was applied and 450 subjectswere interviewed in the outpatient clinics at Near East University Hospital. Among all subjects, 337 were foundto be eligible for the study group. Exclusion criteria were age below 18 years, any cancer history, family historyof colorectal cancer, current colorectal problems, history of any diagnostic or therapeutic interventions forcolorectal diseases.All participants stated that they heard about colorectal cancer. When asked about the lifetimerisk of colorectal carcinoma, only 25.4% of women and 37.9% of men estimated correctly. Univariate analysisrevealed that the total awareness score was significantly correlated with age, marital status, parenthood andfecal occult blood testing history. On multivariate analysis of independent predictors for awareness of colorectalcancer were found to be history of fecal occult blood testing, age and marital status were found to be the mostimportant determinants. As a conclusion, opportunistic screening with fecal occult blood test by physiciansfrom non-gastrointestinal specialties not only helps to reduce the mortality but also increases the awarenessofcolorectal cancer.