Published in Cancer Detection and Prevention 1997; 21(4):380-389.

Employee Response to a Company-Sponsored Program of Colorectal and Prostate Cancer Screening

Ronald E Myers PhD DSWa, Sally W Vernon PhDb, Arvind V Carpenter,DDS Dr PHc, Andrew M. Balshem BAd, Philip G Lewis MD MPHc, Thomas A Wolf MAa, June Hilbert RNc, Lester R. DeFonso BAc, Eric A Ross ScMd

aBehavioral Epidemiology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA; bDepartment of Behavioral Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center,-,-; cRohm & Haas Company,-,-; dDivision of Population Science, Fox Chase Cancer Center

Address all correspondence and reprint requests to: Ronald E Myers, Ph.D., DSW Thomas Jefferson University, 125 S. 9th St., 403 Sheridan Bldg., Philadelphia, PA 19107.

ABSTRACT: Studies done in the mid-1970s documented increased risk for respiratory cancer and leukemia among employees in a chemical company manufacturing plant where chloromethyl ethers were used in production from 1948 to 1971. In the late 1980s, the company informed current and former employees about the results of follow-up studies which showed a moderation of risk for respiratory cancer and leukemia. New data showing elevated rates of mortality from colorectal, prostate, bladder, and pancreatic cancer in the population were also reported. Via mailed correspondence, the company made a no-cost program of colorectal and prostate cancer screening available to employees upon request; and information about bladder and pancreatic cancer was made available. Thirteen percent of employees in the population indicated interest in colorectal and prostate cancer screening (response). Thitty-one percent of these responders were screened (adherence). Multivariate analyses showed that education and length of employment in the plant were positively associated with response. Being white was positively associated with response for younger workers; while among older workers being male was positively associated with response. In terms of adherence, we found that older, more highly educated workers were more likely to have a screening examination. Findings indicate that employee participation in workplace-sponsored colorectal and prostate cancer screening can vary according to worker sociodemographic factors and length of employment in areas of potential exposure.

KEY WORDS: colorectal cancer, employee, employer, prostate cancer, screening.