Knowledge Regarding Early Detection of Cancer among Romanian Women having Relatives with Cancer


Cancers can be detected in early stages through awareness of suspicious symptoms or by specific actionsundertaken by individuals or participation in medical checks or screening programmes. The present researchhad three objectives: to assess the knowledge of Romanian women who have relatives with cancer with regardto cancer symptoms and detection methods; to identify socio-demographics factors influencing their level ofknowledge; provide information regarding the attitudes of women from the study regarding medical help-seekingin case of any symptom which might be associated with cancer. This cross-sectional study was performed in anoncological hospital from Cluj-Napoca, Romania. It involved 160 women aged 18-70 years, who had relativeswith cancer. An anonymous questionnaire was filled in by the participants. The results showed that around 10%of the study sample recognized all the 8 listed symptoms associated with cancer and all the 7 listed methodsfor cancer detection. The results of the linear regression analyses show that the level of knowledge regardingboth symptoms and methods for detection was higher among younger women (B=-0.390, p<0.01, respectivelyB=-0.260; p<0.01), among those living in urban areas (B=0.872, p<0.01, respectively B=0.676; p<0.01) andthose having higher educational level (B=0.883, p<0.001, respectively B=0.536; p<0.001). The majority of theparticipants agreed with the importance of looking for medical help within weeks up to one month in case thata symptom which might be associated with cancer was observed. The study underlines the necessity that muchmore information should be given to women who have relatives with cancer about what they can do to detectcancer in an early stage. This is especially needed for older women, women living in rural areas and womenhaving a lower educational level.