Cancer Awareness among University Students in Turkey


Background: One of the most important reasons for the high mortality rates of cancer is the low level ofawareness, which can lead to a late diagnosis and treatments starting too late. Therefore, it is necessary forindividuals, especially at younger age, to gain awareness and integrate taking the necessary precautions into theirlifestyle in order to prevent cancer and ensure early diagnosis. The aim of this study was to assess the levels ofawareness of factors for major cancers among students studying in two different campuses of a university in theWestern Black Sea Region. Materials and
Methods: This descriptive/cross-sectional study was performed betweenJanuary-March 2014. Students studying in the 2013-2014 academic year in a university in the Western Black SeaRegion in two separate campuses were the subjects.
Results: The mean age was 21.01±3.63. While female students(51.2%) were the majority in the health sciences campus (74.8%), male students (48.8% ) were the majority inthe social sciences campus (76.5%). Some 9.6% of the students from the health sciences campus and 12.4% ofthe students from the social sciences campus thought that cancer was communicable, while most of the studentsfrom both campuses knew that smoking caused cancer. It can also be seen that the rate of answering questionsregarding cancer correctly was higher among students studying in the health sciences campus.
Conclusions: Itwas determined that students who do not study at the health sciences campus have insufficient information oncancer, cancer symptoms, and the possibility of breast cancer in males and approximately half of them regardedobesity as a risk factor for cancer.