Background: Despite the availability of different effective screening tools for colorectal cancer, the compliance to screening remains a huge issue. Thereby, the study aimed to explore the level of knowledge about colorectal cancer, its screening tools and the possible barriers associated with poor compliance to screening.
Methodology: It is a questionnaire-based cross-sectional study conducted amongst 200 adults aging at least 40 years. Questionnaire assessed demographic data, knowledge about signs and symptoms, risk factors of colorectal cancer, and barriers to screening in a health belief model approach.
Results: Out of total 200 individuals, there were 156 females (78%) and 44 males (22%). The overall mean age was 55.76 ± 8.23. Almost 11.5% participants reported a family history of colorectal cancer (CRC). The Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) and colonoscopy for screening were requested for only 26.5% and 12% participants, respectively. No statistical difference was reported between females and males when it came to knowledge about CRC. High fiber diet, having diabetes and hypertension increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer. Majority of participants perceived the value of colonoscopy and FOBT; however, they reported the following barriers for screening: painful procedure of colonoscopy (42%), fear of the results (40%), and fear of cancer therapy (38%).
Conclusion: Despite the availability of effective tools for CRC screening, FOBT and colonoscopy are not used the way they should be, which results in underscreening of the population.
Key words: Colorectal cancer, screening, Saudi Arabia, knowledge, barriers, survey