Effects of sociodemographic variables on cancer attitudes and knowledge

Jamaldin, Faiga K.
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6985 males and females, 18 years and older, were surveyed using a mailed questionnaire to determine attitudes toward the nature of cancer, awareness of and attitudes toward the utilization of free or low cost cancer detection centers, knowledge of the warning signs of cancer, and the effects of gender, age, ethnicity, marital status, religion, income, and education on these attitudes and knowledge. 1007 responses were tabulated and analyzed using frequency distributions and chi square. Results showed that about 57% ranked cancer as the most serious disease. Approximately 84% thought it was curable and 20% thought it was fatal. 98.3% thought early detection increased chances for cure. Fear was cited as a major cause of delay. 80% favored aggressive treatment and surgery was most frequently cited as an aggressive form of treatment. Smoking cessation and diet were most frequently cited as risk reduction factors. Over 80% were unaware of existing free or low cost cancer detection centers, but over 50% would use them if existent. 76.7% could name at least two warning signs of cancer. Gender, age, income, and education were found to affect cancer attitudes and knowledge.

Education, Biological sciences, Cancer prevention, Cancer detection centers