Cancer fatalism and adherence to national cancer screening guidelines: Results from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL)

Patricia I. Moreno, Betina Yanez, Steven J. Schuetz, Katy Wortman, Linda C. Gallo, Catherine Benedict, Carrie E. Brintz, Jianwen Cai, Sheila F. Castaneda, Krista M. Perreira, Patricia Gonzalez, Franklyn Gonzalez, Carmen R. Isasi, Frank J. Penedo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: Sociocultural factors, such as health insurance status, income, education, and acculturation, predict cancer screening among U.S. Hispanics/Latinos. However, these factors can be difficult to modify. More research is needed to identify individual-level modifiable factors that may improve screening and subsequent cancer outcomes in this population. The aim of this study was to examine cancer fatalism (i.e., the belief that there is little or nothing one can do to lower his/her risk of developing cancer) as a determinant of adherence to national screening guidelines for colorectal, breast, prostate, and cervical cancer among Hispanics/Latinos. Methods: Participants were from the multi-site Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL) Sociocultural Ancillary Study (N = 5313). The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Health Interview National Trends Survey was used to assess cancer fatalism and receipt of cancer screening. Adherence was defined as following screening guidelines from United States Preventive Services Task Force and the American Cancer Society during the study period. Results: Adjusting for well-established determinants of cancer screening and covariates (health insurance status, income, education, acculturation, age, Hispanic/Latino background), lower cancer fatalism was marginally associated with greater adherence to screening for colorectal (OR 1.13, 95% CI [.99–1.30], p =.07), breast (OR 1.16, 95% CI [.99–1.36], p =.08) and prostate cancer (OR 1.18, 95% CI [.97–1.43], p =.10), but not cervical cancer. Conclusions: The associations of cancer fatalism were small and marginal, underlining that sociocultural factors are more robust determinants of cancer screening adherence among Hispanics/Latinos.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-45
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Epidemiology
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • Adherence
  • Cancer prevention
  • Cancer screening
  • Fatalism
  • Health beliefs
  • Hispanic
  • Latino

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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