One in Four American Adults Would Rather Not Know They Have Cancer
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Whippany, NJ – August 21, 2023 – WHIPPANY, N.J. -- A new study from The Harris Poll, commissioned by Bayer, suggests fear factors have an impact on diagnoses and preventative care – one in four American adults would rather not know they have cancer (27%) and nearly a third (31%) avoid doctor visits due to fear of what they might learn.
In addition to fear factors, many American adults cite lack of knowledge about key physical health topics, demonstrating the need for greater education on disease risks:
- 49% are not knowledgeable about prostate cancer
- 49% didn’t know that a man's race impacts his risk for prostate cancer
- 38% are not very knowledgeable about breast cancer
- 48% were unaware that breast density impacts cancer risk/diagnosis
As one of the top life sciences companies in the U.S., Bayer’s latest study is designed to uncover patient behaviors and barriers, as well as medical and preventative gaps that the company can help solve for through awareness, education, advocacy and innovation.
“The increase of fear and anxiety, heightened by a lack of education and in some cases trust barriers, creates an environment where people may not access basic preventative care to ensure early diagnosis,” said Sebastian Guth, President, Bayer U.S. and President, Pharmaceuticals, North America. “This is compounded by the fact that around 27.4 million people of all ages (8.3%) don’t have access to health insurance. Companies like Bayer have a responsibility to provide resources that increase health education on the importance of understanding disease risks, early disease screenings and preventative health care.”
With a goal to help bridge some of these gaps, Bayer partners with patient advocacy groups to increase trust and education around risk factors and healthcare solutions. As part of this commitment, Bayer has partnered with organizations like Zero Prostate Cancer, Target Cancer Foundation and Prostate Cancer Foundation to raise awareness and help individuals understand the resources available to them and their risks for specific disease.
Bayer has also supported the National Kidney Foundation, including sponsoring its “Are You the 33%?” campaign. With the common goal of improving health outcomes for people living with chronic kidney disease, the partnership raises awareness among the 1 in 3 people at risk for developing chronic kidney disease and encourages dialogue with doctors to help improve early diagnosis and intervention.
Additionally, the company is using its science-based innovation and scale to help tear down health barriers for Americans through commitments such as The Nutrient Gap Initiative, which expands access to vitamins and minerals to underserved communities. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are a major public health problem and through intervention, education and advocacy, Bayer aims to reverse the cycle of malnutrition — to help people grow properly, raise healthier families and lead better lives.
For those who don’t regularly visit their healthcare provider or have access to one, self-care offers the first and often last line of healthcare for many people. Health education programs and access to Bayer products, from Claritin and Aleve to Aspirin and Astepro, or One A Day, can offer a lifeline for people to help take care of themselves.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Bayer from June 6-8, 2023, among 2,079 U.S. adults ages 18+. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the total sample data is accurate to within +/- 2.8 percentage points using a 95% confidence level. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact Nicole Hayes.
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the life science fields of health care and nutrition. Its products and services are designed to help people and the planet thrive by supporting efforts to master the major challenges presented by a growing and aging global population. Bayer is committed to driving sustainable development and generating a positive impact with its businesses. At the same time, the Group aims to increase its earning power and create value through innovation and growth. The Bayer brand stands for trust, reliability and quality throughout the world. In fiscal 2022, the Group employed around 101,000 people and had sales of 50.7 billion euros. R&D expenses before special items amounted to 6.2 billion euros.
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer's public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.
Director, U.S. External Communications