Cancer Knowledge, Awareness, and Beliefs in Older Adults An Example of Bolu Province, Turkey
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Aim: Cancer incidence is rising all around the world. Reducing cancer mortality requires behavioral change. Behavioral change can be gained with knowledge and perception of cancer. In a variety of surveys, authors use their own questionnaires. However, in literature, there is no specific questionnaire developed for Turkish people on this topic. In this study, a survey comprising items from the Health Information National Trends Survey was administered to members of the public. The aims of our pilot study were to investigate levels of knowledge, awareness, and beliefs concerning cancer among older adults and to shed light on future surveys. Methods: This is a screening model, cross-sectional study. Data were collected using questionnaires in which each question was asked verbally by a physiotherapist, and the answers were recorded. A total of 113 individuals verbally consented to be volunteered. Personal characteristics of respondents, their perceptions about cancer, lifestyles, risk factors, previous cancer diagnoses, and respondents' sources of information and knowledge of cancer were collected with yes/no, open-ended, and multiple-choice questions. Results: The study population composed of 40 women (35.4%), and 73 men (64.6%). The age of the respondents ranged from 60 to 87 years, with a mean of 68.34 +/- 6.63 years. A total of 86.7% had been living with their families and 61.9% had obtained education up to primary school. The most known cancer detection methods were blood analysis and biopsy. But only 35 respondents answered this question. Lung, colon, and liver cancers were the most known types of cancer among respondents: 34.5%, 9.5%, and 7%, respectively. A total of 110 respondents (97.3%) said smoking was the main cause of cancer; 45.1% of respondents acquired their knowledge of cancer from television. Only 1.8% of respondents stated that they got information from health care providers. A total of 66 individuals (58.4%) believed their sources of information were insufficient. Conclusion: Hospitals and clinics should start public awareness campaigns targeting the public, especially older adults, about cancer. This kind of survey could be redesigned with a wide range of participants. More clear multiple-choice questions should be added in that kind of questionnaires.