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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 251-255

Knowledge, perception, and attitude of the general population toward cancer and cancer care: A cross-sectional study


1 Division of Clinical Research and Biostatistics, Malabar Cancer Centre, Kannur, Kerala, India
2 Department of Surgical Oncology, Malabar Cancer Centre, Kannur, Kerala, India
3 Former Medical Social Worker, Malabar Cancer Centre, Kannur, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Satheesan Balasubramanian
Department of Surgical Oncology, Malabar Cancer Centre, Kannur, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/crst.crst_31_21

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Background: Despite the advances in the field of oncology, the diagnosis of cancer is often considered a death sentence, owing to the misconceptions and myths about cancer treatment. Moreover, improvements in health literacy and awareness about cancer have also not been able to change the attitude of people toward cancer-related health behaviors. Objective: In this study, we aimed to evaluate the knowledge, perception, and attitude of the general population toward cancer and cancer care. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted at Malabar Cancer Center, a tertiary cancer center in Kerala, India, between June 2017 and February 2018. A survey was conducted in the general population in the northern part of Kerala in the districts of Kannur, Kasargod, and Wayanad during a medical camp. People who were aged above 18 years and could read the Malayalam language were included in the study. The participants were administered a questionnaire comprising 26 questions, and the knowledge, perception, and attitude of the general population toward cancer and cancer care were evaluated. Results: A total of 487 people responded to the survey. Of these, 354 (72.7%) were women and 133 (27.3%) were men. The mean age of the cohort was 43.7 years. About 74% of the participants disagreed that all cancers can be treated using the same treatment modalities. A total of 84% of the participants agreed that cancer can be detected early with screening. Almost 95% of the participants were aware of the importance of cancer screening and strongly recommended establishing cancer screening clinics in government setups. Conclusion: There is a positive attitude among the general public toward cancer. Almost all the people surveyed were interested in attending cancer awareness programs, believed in the role of screening and felt that establishing cancer screening programs would be useful. This may help provide a road map for cancer policy-makers.


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