Colorectal Cancer Awareness for Women via Facebook: A Pilot Study

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Abstract

Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women. Women report being screened for colorectal cancer less often than men, and if colorectal cancer screening guidelines were routinely followed, approximately 60% of colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented. Many colorectal cancer screening interventions have not used Facebook, which is the most popular social media site among women. Little is known about engaging women in colorectal cancer screening and risk reduction information using Facebook. The “Colorectal Cancer Screening Awareness for Women” Facebook page was created to promote colorectal cancer screening and risk reduction awareness among women. Facebook posts targeted women aged 45–64 years and highlighted colorectal cancer screening methods, guidelines, and colorectal cancer risk reduction strategies. Demographics and data about the women's interactions with the page were collected using Facebook analytics and analyzed. The majority of the 391 users of the Colorectal Cancer Screening Awareness for Women Facebook page were women aged 45–54 years (56.5%). The most “liked” posts were related to colorectal cancer risk reduction behaviors. In an effort to increase routine colorectal cancer screening and colorectal cancer risk reduction behaviors, gastroenterology nurses and practices should consider Facebook as a good method to regularly engage women in colorectal cancer screening and colorectal cancer risk reduction information.

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