Objective: To investigate the relationship between the perception of cancer risk and likelihood of havingundergone cancer screening. Materials and
Methods: We used data from the Korean Health Panel Survey fromDecember 2011 onward. Of 3,390 patients who visited a hospital during the previous year, we included datafrom 2,466 individuals; 924 samples were excluded due to missing data. Logistic regression analysis and the chisquare test were used to investigate the association between perceived cancer risk and the likelihood of havingundergone cancer screening.
Results: For patients who perceived their risk of developing cancer during thenext 10 years to be 30-40%, the odds ratio was increased 1.65 fold (95%CI: 1.223, 2.234) compared with thosewho perceived their risk to be almost zero. Although the difference was not statistically significant, perceivingcancer risk as either extremely low or extremely high appears to be associated with a reduced likelihood ofhaving undergone cancer screening, resulting in an inverted U-shaped relationship.
Conclusions: Physicians andresearchers should be aware of the importance of the affective component of risk perception. Policies addressingthe influence of cancer risk perception should be implemented in South Korea and worldwide.