Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Study examines influence of celebrity endorsements of cancer screening


More than one-half of adults surveyed nationwide had seen or heard celebrity endorsements of cancer screening tests, and more than one-fourth of those who had seen or heard an endorsement reported that it made them more likely to undergo the promoted screening test, according to a new study in the May 4 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Celebrity endorsements of cancer screening are becoming increasingly common. High-profile people, such as former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and journalist Katie Couric, endorse screening tests through stories about their own cancer diagnoses or when they become involved in promotional campaigns for specific tests. However, little is known about how these endorsements affect the public.

To examine the extent to which adults of screening age had seen, heard, or were influenced by celebrity endorsements of various types of cancer screening--screening mammography, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing, and sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy--Robin J. Larson, M.D., of the Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center in White River Junction, Vt., and colleagues at Dartmouth Medical School conducted a telephone survey of American adults from December 2001 through July 2002.

Almost three-quarters (73%) of women age 40 and older (the age group potentially eligible for breast cancer screening) reported that they had seen or heard celebrities talk about mammograms, and, of these women, 25% said that it made them more likely to undergo screening mammography. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of men age 50 and older reported that they had seen or heard celebrities talk about PSA tests, and, of these men, 31% said it made them more likely to undergo PSA testing. About half (52%) of adults age 50 and older reported that they had seen or heard celebrities talk about sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy, and, of these people, 37% said that it made them more likely to undergo one of these tests.

"Whether to undergo cancer screening is a complex decision--early detection of cancer will help some people, but it can create problems for others, such as unnecessary testing and treatment," the authors write. "There is little question that celebrities can have a powerful impact on the public and that their influence can be put to good use. However, when it comes to public health endorsements, we feel that celebrities should be judicious in using their powers of persuasion…. [W]hen it comes to communicating about complex decisions such as cancer screening, the goal should not be to persuade but to inform."

Sarah L. Zielinski | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>