A new computer application can help people determine their risk for colorectal cancer and help them take actions to reduce those risks, according to a study in the April issue of the Journal of Health Communication, HealthDayNews reports.
The Harvard Colorectal Cancer Risk Assessment and Communication Tool for Research, which was developed to study colorectal risk communications strategies, measures risk factors such as family history and modifiable risk factors, such as diet and frequent screenings for polyps before they become cancerous.
The program has helped people see how lifestyle changes can lower long-term risk for colorectal cancer, according to Dr. Neil Weinstein, co-author of the study and an associate investigator at the Arizona Cancer Center.
"Since the program was computer-based, it helped them to see how lifestyle changes could lower their long-term risk of this cancer," said Weinstein, who also is a professor in the department of human ecology at Rutgers University. "This is a promising approach that lets us do things that can't be done with pamphlets and posters" (HealthDayNews, 3/11).