Attitudes Towards Colorectal Cancer (CRC) and CRC Screening Tests among Elderly Malay Patients


Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common malignancy in Malaysia, where data arelimited regarding knowledge and barriers in regard to CRC and screening tests. The aim of the study was toassess these parameters among Malaysians. Materials and
Methods: The questionnaires were distributed inthe Umra Private Hospital in Selangor. The questionnaire had four parts and covered social-demographicquestions, respondent knowledge about CRC and colorectal tests, attitude towards CRC and respondentactionregarding CRC. More than half of Malay participants (total n=187) were female (57.2%) and 36.9% of themwere working as professionals.
Results: The majority of the participants (93.6%) never had a CRC screeningtest. The study found that only 10.2% of the study participants did not consider that their chances of gettingCRC were high. A high percentage of the participants (43.3%) believed that they would have good chance ofsurvival if the cancer would be found early. About one third of the respondents did not want to do screeningbecause of fear of cancer, and concerns of embarrassment during the procedure adversely affected attitude toCRC screening as well. Age, gender, income, family history of CRC, vegetable intake and physical activity werefound to be significant determinants of knowledge on CRC.
Conclusions: The major barriers identified towardsCRC screening identified in our study were fear of pain and embarrassment. The findings have implicationsfor understanding of similarities and differences in attitude to CRC amongst elderly patients in other cultural/geographic regions.