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Public attitudes towards screening for kidney cancer: an online survey

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Harvey-Kelly, Laragh L. W. 
Harrison, Hannah 
Rossi, Sabrina H. 
Griffin, Simon J. 
Stewart, Grant D. 


Abstract: Background: Kidney cancer is often asymptomatic, leading to proposals for a screening programme. The views of the public towards introducing a new screening programme for kidney cancer are unknown. The aim of this study was to explore attitudes towards kidney cancer screening and factors influencing intention to attend a future screening programme. Methods: We conducted an online population-based survey of 1021 adults aged 45–77 years. The main outcome measure was intention to attend four possible screening tests (urine, blood, ultrasound scan, low-dose CT) as well as extended low-dose CT scans within lung cancer screening programmes. We used multivariable regression to examine the association between intention and each screening test. Results: Most participants stated that they would be ‘very likely’ or ‘likely’ to undergo each of the screening tests [urine test: n = 961 (94.1%); blood test: n = 922 (90.3%); ultrasound: n = 914 (89.5%); low-dose CT: n = 804 (78.8%); lung CT: n = 962 (95.2%)]. Greater intention to attend was associated with higher general cancer worry and less perceived burden/inconvenience about the screening tests. Less worry about the screening test was also associated with higher intention to attend, but only in those with low general cancer worry (cancer worry scale ≤ 5). Compared with intention to take up screening with a urine test, participants were half as likely to report that they intended to undergo blood [OR 0.56 (0.43–0.73)] or ultrasound [OR 0.50 (0.38–0.67)] testing, and half as likely again to report that they intended to take part in a screening programme featuring a low dose CT scan for kidney cancer screening alone [OR 0.19 (0.14–0.27)]. Conclusion: Participants in this study expressed high levels of intention to accept an invitation to screening for kidney cancer, both within a kidney cancer specific screening programme and in conjunction with lung cancer screening. The choice of screening test is likely to influence uptake. Together these findings support on-going research into kidney cancer screening tests and the potential for combining kidney cancer screening with existing or new screening programmes.


Funder: Kidney Cancer UK

Funder: The Urology Foundation


Research Article, Urological oncology, Attitudes, Kidney cancer, Cancer, Screening, Survey

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BMC Urology

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BioMed Central
Cancer Research UK (C55650/A21464, Major Centre Award A25117)
Research Trainees Coordinating Centre (RM-SR-2017-09-009)