Original Article
Year: 2020 I Volume: 2 I Issue: 4 I Pages: 1-7
https://doi.org/10.46982/gjmt.2020.108 

Cancer Awareness in Saudi Arabia: A Cross-sectional Population based Observational Study 

Nagwa Ibrahim1, Asma Almuhsin2, Awatif Alshaibani2, Raghad Alkhattabi2, Maryam Almulaifi2, Ashraf Alalwan1, Ahmed Aleid1

1 Department of Pharmaceutical Services, Prince Sultan Military Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 

2 College of Pharmacy, Princes Nora University

* Corresponding Author: Ahmed Aleid, PhD

Email address: aaleid@psmmc.med.sa 

Source of support: None

 

Conflict of interest: None

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Abstract: 

 

Introduction: Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally. Lack of awareness about cancer could negatively impact its prevention and management. Published research for myths and misconception about cancer indicated the poor public knowledge and the essential need for education and awareness. The aim of this study is to assess the level of knowledge about cancer among the public in Saudi Arabia. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study. We designed a survey that contains 11 sections with a total of 64 questions. Sixty-one questions were closed ended and 3 open ended questions. Surveys were distributed electronically as well as a hard copy to reach the highest number of participants. The target participants were the general population in Saudi Arabia. Results: We received a total of 11,186 responses. We excluded data of 663 participants as they did not meet the inclusion criteria. The highest percentage of participants were Saudi Arabian citizens (95%), females (77%), between 20-29 years old (47.2%), from the central region (60.6%), out of which 60.2% had an education level above high school. The mean age was 28.74 (± 10.75) years. The maximum total knowledge score was 31, while the mean score was 18.66 (± 5.1). The acceptable knowledge level was considered to be 60%. However, only 54.7% of the participants reached the acceptable knowledge level. There was a significant correlation between the total knowledge across participants with age group of 20-29 (p<0.01), above high school level of education (p<0.01), female gender (p<0.01), and having family member or friend diagnosed with cancer (p<0.01). Two thirds of the female participants were familiar with self-breast examination, while only 40.2% were aware of the mammogram. About one third of the females above 40 years had a mammography performed. Most of the participants (81.1%) get information about cancer from the internet. Conclusion: Cancer awareness levels and knowledge remain relatively low in the evaluated study population. Therefore, conducting public awareness programs are very essential.        

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