Exploring Gender Disparities in Factors Influencing Colorectal Cancer Screening Compliance in Singapore

Document Type : Research Articles


Department of Research and Data Analytics, Singapore Cancer Society, Singapore.


Objective: The uptake of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening remains suboptimal in Singapore. Existing research highlights gender-related disparities in screening behaviors. This study aims to evaluate the gender differences in factors associated with CRC screening compliance in Singapore, with a specific focus on cancer screening beliefs and knowledge on CRC screening guidelines. Methods: Data were collected from an online survey on cancer screening belief, knowledge, and practices in Singapore. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted to identify independent factors associated with compliance in CRC screening. Results: The study included 633 participants aged 50-69 years, eligible for CRC screening. Only 132 participants (20.9%) complied with CRC screening guidelines with no significant gender differences observed in compliance rates. Most participants held positive beliefs on routine screening (86.9%) and perceived screening benefits in improving treatment outcomes (89.6%) and reducing mortality rates (77.6%). However, both genders exhibited limited knowledge regarding CRC screening guidelines. Only 28.3% were aware that CRC screening should commence at age 50 years. While nearly half of participants knew FIT (44.7%) and colonoscopy (52.0%) as CRC screening modalities, only 27.5% and 15.2% recognized the recommended intervals for FIT and colonoscopy screening respectively. Multivariate analysis revealed a positive association between knowledge on CRC screening guidelines and CRC screening compliance for both genders. Gender-specific variations were observed in the factors associated with CRC screening compliance. Specifically, women with a family history of cancer, believing in routine cancer screening, and prior adherence to breast cancer screening and men within the older cohort (55-69 years) were more likely to comply with CRC screening. Conclusion: Low compliance with CRC screening was observed in Singapore. Targeted interventions should address gender-specific factors and highlight CRC screening guidelines as a crucial component of cancer education for entire screening eligible population in order to improve CRC screening compliance.


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