Poor Knowledge of Colorectal Cancer in Brunei Darussalam


Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the most common gastrointestinal cancer and the incidence isincreasing in many developing countries. While it can be detected early and even prevented through screeningand removal of premalignant lesions, there are barriers to screening which include low level of knowledge andawareness of CRC. This study assessed the level of knowledge of CRC in Brunei Darussalam. Materials and
Methods: A total of 431 (262 male and 161 female) subjects participated in this questionnaire study. Subjectswere scored on their knowledge of signs/symptoms (maximum 10 correct answers) and known risk factors forCRC (maximum 10 correct answers) and were categorised into poor (0-2), moderate (3-4) and satisfactory (5-10).Comparisons were made between the various patient factors.
Results: Overall, 54.1% could not name any CRCsigns/symptoms or associated risk factors. Most were not aware of any screening modalities. The overall scoresfor CRC signs/symptoms and risk factors were 1.3±1.39 (range 0-6) and 0.6±1.05 (range 0-5) respectively. Overall,the breakdown of scores was: poor (78.1%), moderate (20.3%) and satisfactory (6.2%) for signs/symptoms andpoor (93.2%), moderate (6.2%) and satisfactory (0.7%) for risk factors. Higher level of education, female genderand non-Malay race were associated with higher scores for both signs/symptoms and knowledge of screeningmodality; however the overall scores were low.
Conclusions: Our study showed that the general knowledge ofCRC in Brunei Darussalam is poor. Being female, with higher levels of education and non-Malay race wereassociated with higher scores, but they were still generally poor. More needs to be done to increase the publicknowledge and awareness of CRC.