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Cervical Cancer Messages in Women’s Magazines: A Content Analysis Grounded in the Extended Parallel Process Model
Unformatted Document Text:  Cervical Cancer 2 Cervical Cancer Messages in Women’s Magazines: A Content Analysis Grounded in the Extended Parallel Process Model Currently, one of the pressing issues within women’s health is cervical cancer. Death from cervical cancer is virtually preventable because the disease is curable if detected early through annual pap screening tests (American Cancer Society [ACS], 2002). 1 Unfortunately, cervical cancer is not always detected early; an estimated 4,100 lives will be claimed by invasive cervical cancer in 2002, while an additional 13,000 women will be diagnosed with it in the same year (ACS, 2002). Regular pap tests should detect any abnormal cells that can then be removed before life-threatening cancer growth occurs (ACS, 2002). However, not all women seek pap tests as recommended by the American Cancer Society (2002). Recommendations differ among risk groups, but it is recommended for almost all women that they seek a pap test once every year (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], n.d.). Holmquist (2000) found that the 5-year survival rate for a group of women with cervical squamous carcinoma in situ to be 99%. In the same study, however, the 5-year survival rate dropped to only 43% among those women who had not received their regular pap tests (Holmquist, 2000). A variety of reasons are cited as to why women fail to seek pap tests. Most commonly reported is a lack of physician recommendation, or physicians not regarding the test as necessary for the patient due to age, sexual history, or other factors normally associated with low risk (Rimer, 1995). Other women, especially older women, just do not receive the test unless they have other gynecologic problems (Henning & Knowles, 1990; Holmquist, 2000). Kowalski and Brown (1994) found that social and physical anxiety were significantly related to failure to seek a pap test. Women mention worrying about the results, physical discomfort, embarrassment, nervousness about male doctors, confusion about the procedure and/or importance of the test, or

Authors: Brown, Colleen. and Lewis, Melissa.
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Cervical Cancer 2
Cervical Cancer Messages in Women’s Magazines: A Content Analysis Grounded in the
Extended Parallel Process Model
Currently, one of the pressing issues within women’s health is cervical cancer. Death
from cervical cancer is virtually preventable because the disease is curable if detected early
through annual pap screening tests (American Cancer Society [ACS], 2002).
1
Unfortunately,
cervical cancer is not always detected early; an estimated 4,100 lives will be claimed by invasive
cervical cancer in 2002, while an additional 13,000 women will be diagnosed with it in the same
year (ACS, 2002). Regular pap tests should detect any abnormal cells that can then be removed
before life-threatening cancer growth occurs (ACS, 2002). However, not all women seek pap
tests as recommended by the American Cancer Society (2002). Recommendations differ among
risk groups, but it is recommended for almost all women that they seek a pap test once every
year (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], n.d.). Holmquist (2000) found that the
5-year survival rate for a group of women with cervical squamous carcinoma in situ to be 99%.
In the same study, however, the 5-year survival rate dropped to only 43% among those women
who had not received their regular pap tests (Holmquist, 2000).
A variety of reasons are cited as to why women fail to seek pap tests. Most commonly
reported is a lack of physician recommendation, or physicians not regarding the test as necessary
for the patient due to age, sexual history, or other factors normally associated with low risk
(Rimer, 1995). Other women, especially older women, just do not receive the test unless they
have other gynecologic problems (Henning & Knowles, 1990; Holmquist, 2000). Kowalski and
Brown (1994) found that social and physical anxiety were significantly related to failure to seek
a pap test. Women mention worrying about the results, physical discomfort, embarrassment,
nervousness about male doctors, confusion about the procedure and/or importance of the test, or


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