Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Epidemiology (Medicine)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Seth J. Schwartz

Second Committee Member

Kristopher L. Arheart

Third Committee Member

Margaret M. Byrne

Fourth Committee Member

Lila J. Finney Rutten

Fifth Committee Member

Julie Kornfeld


Breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers have population-based effective screenings that are recommended for individuals of a certain age and sex, while prostate cancer screening is controversial. People often seek information from various sources about cancer and health behaviors, and in the information age, this information may come from the Internet. Furthermore, individuals who see their physicians may be influenced by how well they communicate with their healthcare providers when deciding on health behaviors such as cancer screenings. Getting screened for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer at the recommended intervals is linked to decreases in mortality rates for those cancers. While prostate cancer screening is not linked to decreases in mortality, the screening is often used by men without cancer risk factors. This study seeks to study the association between information seeking, both from the Internet and other sources, and cancer screening guideline adherence for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers, and screening rates for prostate cancer, and to determine the role that patient-physician communication plays in that relationship.


cancer screening; health information; internet information; patient-physician communication