Background: Few previous studies found that people's knowledge of colorectal cancer (CRC) risk factors and symptoms is a predictor of high compliance with CRC screening. Feelings about CRC have rarely been examined. Aim: This mixed method study is aimed at examining knowledge and feelings about CRC among the Jewish adult population in Israel. Methods: One hundred and ninety six Jewish Israelis were interviewed using semi-structured face to face personal interviews. Clinical characteristics and knowledge about CRC were analyzed by quantitative methods. Feelings about CRC were analyzed by the qualitative constant comparative method. Results: Most of the participants were at risk for developing CRC due to their native background as Jews of Eastern European origin. The most well known risk factor was family history of CRC, but only a third were aware of it. Screening for CRC by colonoscopy was known to about half the participants. CRC evoked negative feelings of fear of contracting an oncological disease, stress as a result of a new realty, sadness at the possibility of late discovery, disgust and embarrassment because of the involvement of an intimate area and the connection to body secretions. Positive feelings of optimistic faith and hope were found with regard to survival. Conclusion: The knowledge level of the participants about CRC symptoms, risk factors, and recommended screening was low to moderate. CRC evoked mainly negative feelings. Increasing knowledge about CRC and reducing negative feelings evoked by CRC are essential.
- Colorectal cancer
- Mixed methods study
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