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In the United States, Colorectal Cancer (CRC) is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in both males and females. In 2017, it was estimated that 50,260 people would die from colon cancer alone (American Cancer Society, 2017). There are several behavioral factors that are known to reduce the risk of CRC. Studies have shown that less smoking, reduced heavy alcohol use, engaging in regular physical activity and healthy eating habits are associated with a lower risk of developing colorectal cancer (Lynes et al, 2016). In recent studies, researchers found an inverse relationship between Calcium and Vitamin D use and colorectal cancer through various mechanisms (Chan & Giovannucci, 2010). However, the role of other supplements, including multi-vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin B6, remains uncertain; there have only been a few studies conducted with these other supplements and their role in colon cancer risk reduction. According to Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements, 68% of U.S. adults report that they use a dietary supplement and over 50% are regular users. NHANES survey shows that women, older adults, and whites use supplements more than their counterparts (Picciano, 2005).

A survey was administered to patients prior to their colonoscopy appointment to investigate perceived and actual understanding of the procedure, health literacy, and general health. Participants were selected from eligible patients (18 years or older; could read/write English; cognitively able to fill out survey) scheduled for a colonoscopy at either a university hospital-based center or a university-affiliated outpatient endoscopy center situated in Alachua County, Florida from September 2011 through October 2013 (Curbow et al, 2015). The goal of this proposed Master’s thesis capstone is to conduct a secondary analysis of data collected from patients in this study to determine associations regarding supplement use with various variables such as demographic factors, perceived health literacy, informed about CRC, concern about CRC, reason for colonoscopy and general health. These associations will help us to better understand how these variables impact supplement use among this population.