Barriers to colorectal cancer screening in Asia: A systematic review

  • Eman Azeem
  • Syed Wasif Gillani
  • Vinci Poh
  • Syed Azhar Syed Sulaiman
  • Mirza R Baig
Keywords: Colorectal cancer screening, Barrier, Knowledge, Criteria for eligibility


Purpose: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is among the top five cancers afflicting both men and women globally. Once predominantly a Western disease, it has begun to rise in Asian countries as well. This systematic review aims to compile and analyze the various barriers towards colorectal cancer screening in Asia, and to determine if the barriers are consistent throughout the continent.
Methods: Article Inclusion criteria for based on year of publication from year 2008 till 2015, has been conducted in Asia, and written in English language. A total of 23 studies were included in this review, chosen via primary search of journal websites and databases, and a secondary search through the reference lists of eligible articles.
Results: It was found that major barriers of colorectal cancer screening are; poor education/knowledge, negative perceptions towards screening, aversion to test results, financial constraints, time constraints, lack of physicians’ recommendation, limited/difficult access to screening locations, fatalistic beliefs, low perceived risks, language barriers, confidence in traditional medicine/distrust in Western medicine,
ignorance and old age.
Conclusion: Lack of knowledge/education is the most critical barrier that is linked to a majority of other barriers that can hinder a person from undergoing CRC screening for early prevention, detection and treatment. Majority of these barriers encountered regarding the poor rates of CRC screening are similar across countries in Asia.

Keywords: Colorectal cancer screening, Barrier, Knowledge, Criteria for eligibility


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-9827
print ISSN: 1596-5996