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OBJECTIVES: The specific aim of this study was to determine the self-reported likelihood of New York Puerto Ricans (NYPR) and San Juan Puerto Ricans (SJPR) to participate in: 10 site-specific cancer screenings, cancer-screenings conducted by different specific persons/agencies and cancer-screening under specific conditions of what one was asked to do as a part of cancer screening. METHODS: The Cancer Screening Questionnaire (CSQ) was administered via random-digit-dial telephone interviews to 154 adults living in San Juan, PR and 155 in New York, NY. RESULTS: Although the self-reported willingness to participate across the 10 site-specific cancer screening exams was consistently high in both cities, SJPR had higher rates, as compared to NYPR for all 10 site-specific cancer screening exams in the unadjusted analyses. A similar pattern was observed regarding the influence of both "who conducts the cancer-screening exam" and "what one is asked to do in a cancer-screening exam" as factors in the willingness to participate in such exams. Adjusted multivariate analysis showed that the odds of SJPR participating in skin cancer screening as compared to NYPR, were three-fold higher to participate in skin cancer screening and were two-fold higher to participate in a cancer screening where they have to be interviewed about their alcohol habits. These two observed differences might reflect the effect of acculturation in the NYPR.