Knowledge levels and attitudes of adult individuals about cancer and its risk factors

KARADENİZ H., Cetinkaya F.

NIGERIAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PRACTICE, vol.23, no.11, pp.1607-1614, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 23 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_434_19
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.1607-1614
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Background: Cancer maintains its importance as a major public health issue in the world and developing countries such as Turkey. Determining individuals' knowledge and attitudes about cancer is very important for cancer prevention. Research on knowledge and attitudes plays an important role in the development of targeted policies in the fight against cancer. Aims: The aim of this study was to determine the knowledge and attitudes of adult individuals about cancer and its risk factors. Methods: The study was conducted descriptively in the city center of Trabzon. The study population and sample consisted of 105.071 and 1200 adults aged 40 and over living in the city center, respectively. For the sample selection, multistage randomized sampling method was used. The data were collected using a questionnaire, which was developed by the researchers after reviewing the literature and receiving expert opinions. The findings were presented as descriptive statistics with numbers, percentages, and averages. Results: It was found that 45.7% of the participants smoked, 9.1% consumed alcohol, 40.8% consumed acidic foods, 33.0% had family history of cancer in first degree relatives, and 28.5% had cancer-related death in first degree relatives. The participants stated that cancer was the most fatal disease and listed the first three cancer-causing factors as cigarettes (95.7%), mobile phones (90.4%) and alcohol (90.2%). 62.4% of them did not know the symptoms of cancer, and 86.4% and 76.4% believed that 'sadness and stress cause cancer' and 'cancer is inherited', respectively. Conclusion: The study revealed that adult individuals had a significant level of false and incomplete information about cancer, and their behaviors having risk factors for cancer could not be altered and transformed into appropriate ones. Therefore, it is thought that informative studies on cancer should be carried out continuously to carry out the fight against cancer successfully.