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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 218250, 10 pages
Review Article

Obesity and Cancer Screening according to Race and Gender

1Department of Family and Community Medicine, Christiana Care Health System, 1400 North Washington Street, Room 328, Wilmington, DE 19801, USA
2Department of Family and Community Medicine, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA
3Division of Population Science, Department of Medical Oncology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA
4Helen F. Graham Cancer Center, Christiana Care Health System, Newark, DE 19713, USA

Received 2 August 2011; Accepted 24 October 2011

Academic Editor: Francesco Saverio Papadia

Copyright © 2011 Heather Bittner Fagan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The relationship between obesity and cancer screening varies by screening test, race, and gender. Most studies on cervical cancer screening found a negative association between increasing weight and screening, and this negative association was most consistent in white women. Recent literature on mammography reports no association with weight. However, some studies show a negative association in white, but not black, women. In contrast, obese/overweight men reported higher rates of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing. Comparison of prostate cancer screening, mammography, and Pap smears implies a gender difference in the relationship between screening behavior and weight. In colorectal cancer (CRC) screening, the relationship between weight and screening in men is inconsistent, while there is a trend towards lower CRC screening in higher weight women.