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Affective Determinants of Health Behavior$
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David M. Williams, Ryan E. Rhodes, and Mark T. Conner

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190499037

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190499037.001.0001

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Emotions, Delay, and Avoidance in Cancer Screening

Emotions, Delay, and Avoidance in Cancer Screening

Roles for Fear, Embarrassment, and Disgust

Chapter:
(p.431) 19 Emotions, Delay, and Avoidance in Cancer Screening
Source:
Affective Determinants of Health Behavior
Author(s):

Nathan S. Consedine

Lisa M. Reynolds

Charmaine Borg

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190499037.003.0019

Delay and avoidance are massive problems in cancer screening. While work continues to examine demographic and cognitive factors, emotions are central and likely causally implicated. In this chapter, a discrete emotions view of the origins of cancer screening is presented. After characterizing emotions, focus rests on evaluating the evidence regarding how and why three avoidance-promoting emotions (fear, embarrassment, and disgust) are implicated. The chapter describes the symptoms and medical examinations that elicit these emotions and suggests that people fail to screen for breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers because screenings elicit (or are anticipated to elicit) these feelings. It concludes by assessing some of the measurement, design, and interpretative challenges in the area, considers the sexual nature of many screens, and discusses the fact that screenings may elicit multiple emotional responses.

Keywords:   cancer, screening, emotion, disgust, fear, embarrassment, worry, prostate, breast, colorectal, sexual health

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