Introduction: Cancer is considered to be one of the preventable and manageable diseases. To design an intervention program aimed at prevention and management, data on the level of knowledge of the disease among the target population is required. The present study examines the level of awareness about the risk factors and signs of cancer based on a comprehensive study among the Tehran general population. It also presents the factors affecting the level of understanding of the disease among the sample.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study included 2500 people aged over 18 in Tehran. The sample was selected using multistage cluster sampling and the data collected through a comprehensive questionnaire. The obtained data were analyzed using a special regression model i.e. latent class regression.
Results: Women comprised %52.9 of the participants. %47.1 of the sample was aged between 18- 30 and the rest were over 30 years of age. Overall, %45.4 of the subjects had obtained some information about cancer. The most important sources were mass media and self study at %82.6 and %48.3 respectively. High knowledge about risk factors and warning signs were obtained in %12.2 and %24.2 of participates respectively. The most important determinant of knowledge was education. The other important determinants were gender and family history. The women and participants with a family history of the disease had higher chance to be classified in higher knowledge level group. Marital status was only positively correlated with awareness of the signs.
Conclusion: The results showed a low level of awareness about the risk factors and the warning signs, in particular for the ones that require specific information on the part of the participants. Findings of the study provide valuable guidelines toward the formulation of relevant cancer prevention strategies, especially in the area of education.
The full text of this article is available on PDF
© 2009, Journal of Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.