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19.05.2017

Awareness of Cancer Signs and Barriers to Help Seeking: a National Survey

Zeitschrift:
Journal of Cancer Education
Autor:
Mohammad Al Qadire

Abstract

About 27% of cancer patients in Jordan are discovered in advanced stages; this resulted in poor prognosis and survival rates. One possible cause of late presentation is lack of awareness of warning signs and risk factors of cancer. The purpose of this study is to identify the level of awareness of cancer warning signs, risk factors, and barriers to seeking medical advice among the Jordanian public. A cross-sectional survey design was used. A convenience sample of 2292 participants from the Jordanian public was included in the study. The Cancer Awareness Measure (CAM) was used. Of the 2292 participants, 1206 were females with a mean age of 30.5 SD 11.3 years, ranging from 18 to 81 years. Recall (open question) was not good for all warning symptoms; the percentage of the participants who correctly recalled one of the nine symptoms ranged from 1.7 to 22.9%. However, the mean of the total number of recognized symptoms was also low 4.7 SD 2.4. The highest recognition percentages were as follows: lump/swelling (77.6%), weight loss (63%), and change in appearance of a mole (61.1%). In regard to recognizing risk factors, the most commonly known risk factor was being a smoker (81.4%), followed by drinking more than one unit of alcohol (74.8%). Overall, this study demonstrated that there is a low level of awareness on cancer symptoms and risk factors. This provided a room for improvement through public education which remains the mainstay for such improvement. Emotional barriers to seeking medical care should be addressed using behaviour-changing models.

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