Gender differences in cancer screening beliefs, behaviors, and willingness to participate: implications for health promotion

Am J Mens Health. 2012 May;6(3):211-7. doi: 10.1177/1557988311425853. Epub 2011 Nov 8.


Men have higher cancer mortality rates for all sites combined compared with women. Cancer screening (CS) participation is important for the early detection of cancer. This study explores gender differences in CS beliefs, behaviors, and willingness to participate. The data were collected from a stratified, random-digit dial survey of adults living in New York, Maryland, and Puerto Rico. Chi-square tests and logistic regressions were computed to analyze gender associations among CS beliefs, behaviors, and willingness variables. Men and women believed that CSs were effective, though a higher percentage of men had never had a past CS. Men were less willing to participate in a CS at the present time and in a skin cancer exam; however, when given descriptions of screening conditions, men indicated more willingness to participate. These gender differences highlight the need for health professionals to examine their efforts in providing enhanced CS promotion and education among men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Data Collection
  • Early Detection of Cancer*
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maryland
  • Middle Aged
  • New York
  • Puerto Rico
  • Sex Factors*
  • Young Adult