Lung Cancer Knowledge among Secondary School Male Teachers in Kudat, Sabah, Malaysia


Background: The objective of this study is to determine knowledge about lung cancer among secondaryschool male teachers in Kudat, Sabah, Malaysia. Materials and
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conductedamong three secondary schools located in Kudat district, Sabah, Malaysia during the period from June untilSeptember 2012. The protocol of this study was approved by ethics committee of Management and ScienceUniversity, Malaysia. The aims were explained and a consent form was signed by each participant. Respondentswere chosen randomly from each school with the help of the headmasters. Self-administrated questionnaires,covering socio-demographic characteristics and general knowledge of lung cancer, were distributed. Once all 150respondents completed the questionnaire, they passed it to their head master for collecting and recording. All thedata were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 13. ANOVA and t-test wereapplied for univariate analysis; and multiple linear regression for multivariate analysis.
Results: A total of 150male secondary school teachers participated in this study. Their mean age was 35.6±6.5 (SD); maximum 50 andminimum 23 years old. More than half of the participants were Malay and married (52%, 79%; respectively).Regarding the knowledge about lung cancer, 57.3% of the participants mentioned that only males are affectedby lung cancer. Some 70.7% mentioned that lung cancer can be transmitted from one person to another. Morethan half (56.7%) reported that lung cancer is not the leading cause of death in Malaysian males. As for riskfactors, the majority reported that family history of lung cancer is not involved. However, 91.3% were aware thatcigarettes are the main risk factor of lung cancer and more than half (52%) believed that second-hand smokingis one of the risk factor of lung cancer. More than half (51.3%) were not aware that asbestos, ionizing radiationand other cancer causing substances are risk factors for lung cancer. Quitting smoking, avoiding second-handsmoking and avoiding unnecessary x-ray image of the chest (53.3%, 96.0%, 87.3%; respectively) are the mainpreventive measures mentioned by the participants. For the factors that influence the participants knowledge,univariate and multivariate analysis showed that only race was significant.
Conclusions: Overall, the knowledgeof school male teachers about lung cancer was low. However, few items were scored high: cigarettes are the mainrisk factor; avoiding second-hand smoking; and avoiding x-rays. Interventions to increase lung cancer awarenessare needed to improve early detection behavior. Increase the price of pack of cigarettes to RM 20 and banningsmoking in public places such as restaurants are highly recommended as primary preventive measures.