The worksite is an ideal forum for cancer risk assessment. We describe here the baseline characteristics of a large cohort. Participants completed surveys that assessed a variety of risk factors and behavioral mediators. Personalized feedback letters identified cancer risks. A total of 4395 surveys were received. Cancer prevalence was 6.5% (range, 4.3% to 11.2%). The most common risk factors were lack of exercise (41%; 32% to 68%), obesity (28%; 24% to 39%), and smoking (14%; 13% to 32%). Cardiovascular risk was also common (25%; 15% to 48%). Screening was fair to good for all cancers except colon cancer. The perceived risk for cancer was less than that for cardiovascular disease (P < 0.0001). Most smokers were in the pre-contemplation phase, whereas action/maintenance phases predominated for breast and colon cancer screening. Modifiable cancer risk factors can be identified in the majority of workers. Inaccurate risk perception is an important target for future interventions.
From Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia.
Address correspondence to: Dr Mark Cornfeld, Fox Chase Cancer Center, 7701 Burholme Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111; M_Cornfeld@fccc.edu.
This work was funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (Project ME98155).
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