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Prevalence of Cancer Screening Among Delaware Adults in 2002


Early detection is key to successful treatment of cancers. The Delaware Behavioral Risk Factor Survey measures prevalence of several tests, or "screening" procedures, to see if adult Delawareans are meeting recommended schedules for:

  1. Mammograms and breast exams for breast cancer,
  2. Pap tests for cervical cancer,
  3. Fecal Occult Blood Tests (FOTB) for colorectal cancer (the home blood stool test kit),
  4. Sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy for colorectal cancer, and
  5. Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) test for prostate cancer.

The major results from the 2002 survey include:

  • When asked if they had ever had a PSA test for prostate cancer, 64% of Delaware males age 40 and older responded "yes."
  • Non-Hispanic white men in this age group are slightly more likely (65%) to have had a PSA test than non-Hispanic black men (62.6%).
  • Among all adults age 50 and older, one-third (33.3%) have used a home blood stool kit (FOTB test) in the past two years.
  • Non-Hispanic white adults in this age group are significantly more likely (35%) to have used a home blood stool kit than are non-Hispanic African Americans (26%).
  • Sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy involve inserting a tube into the rectum to view the colon for cancer or other health problems. Among Delawareans age 50 and older, 57.4% say they have had a sigmoidoscopy and/or a colonoscopy.
  • 58% of non-Hispanic white in this age group say they've had a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy, compared to 47.8% of non-Hispanic African Americans.
  • When asked if they had ever had a Pap smear test, 96% of adult Delaware women responded "yes." The percentage was slightly lower among black (94.3%) and Hispanic (87%) women.
  • Among women who have had Pap tests, 76% said they had the test within the past 12 months, and another 11.7% within the past two years. African American (80.2%) and Hispanic (88.3%) women are more likely to have had a Pap test in the past year – indicating that efforts to promote testing among these populations may be having the desired impact.
  • Among Delaware women age 40 and older, 84% have had a mammogram, a test to detect breast cancer, in the past two years. There were no significant differences among racial or ethnic groups.


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