Colorectal cancer screening knowledge and uptake in lebanon: a national survey
Yeretzian, Joumana Stephan
Asmar, Michèle Kosremelli
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Moussallem, M., Jreij, M., Yeretzian, J.S., Asmar, M.K. and Bou-Orm, I.R. (2022) ‘Colorectal cancer screening knowledge and uptake in lebanon: a national survey’, Revue d’Épidémiologie et de Santé Publique, 70(2), pp. 67–73. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respe.2022.01.128.
Objective The main aim of this national survey was to identify the levels of colorectal cancer screening knowledge and uptake in Lebanon. Methods A total of 1200 participants were enrolled in this cross-sectional household survey targeting the Lebanese population aged 50 years and above. The sample was recruited using a two-stage stratified cluster sampling approach. Results Of the total sample, 38.3% knew about any screening test for colorectal cancer but only 7.5% had ever used any. Thirty-nine percent of the participants rated their risk of getting colorectal cancer as very low or low, and only 53.5% were confident in their ability to undertake a screening test. Almost all participants agreed that medical advice and test reimbursement would encourage them to do a screening test. At the multivariate analysis level, hearing of an awareness campaign in the last two years showed the strongest association with the knowledge of a colorectal cancer screening test with an estimated ORadj = 5.12 (95%CI: 3.67 – 7.15). Other factors that were significantly associated with this knowledge variable included: a family history of colorectal cancer, a personal history of colorectal illness, having a health coverage, and knowledge of colorectal cancer signs and symptoms. Discussion This national study highlights an alarming lack of uptake and low levels of knowledge of colorectal cancer screening tests even though it is among the most prevalent cancers in Lebanon and its prevalence has been continuously increasing in the past years. The evidence suggests that people who had an experience with colorectal cancer diagnostic tests, either personally or through a family member, and those who have heard of an awareness campaign about colorectal cancer in the last two years are more likely to know its screening tests. Conclusion Colorectal cancer screening knowledge and uptake in Lebanon are limited and justify the need for public health interventions. This study gives evidence that awareness campaigns, coupled with the involvement of medical providers and the reimbursement of screening test fees, would alleviate the burden of colorectal cancer in Lebanon.