Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer globally. In Jordan, it is the number one cancer among men and the second most common cancer among women, accounting for 15% and 9.4% respectively of all male and female diagnosed cancers. This study aimed to evaluate the knowledge and perceptions about colorectal cancer risk factors, signs and symptoms in Jordan and to provide useful data about the best modes of disseminating preventive messages about the disease. Materials and
Methods: A stratified clustered random sampling technique was used to recruit 300 males and 300 females aged 30 to 65 years without a previous history of CRC from four governorates in Jordan. A semi-structured questionnaire and face to face interviews were employed. Descriptive and multivariate analysis was applied to assess knowledge and perceptions about CRC.
Results: Both males and females perceived their CRC risk to be low. They had low knowledge scores about CRC with no significant gender association (P= 0.47). From a maximum knowledge score of 18 points, the median scores of males and females were 4 points (SD = 2.346, range 0-13) and 4 points (SD= 2.329, range 0-11) respectively. Better knowledge scores were associated with governorate, higher educational level, older age, higher income, having a chronic disease, having a family history of CRC, previously knowing someone who had CRC and their doctor’s knowledge about their family history of CRC.
Conclusions: There is a low level of knowledge about CRC and underestimation of risk among the study participants. This underlines the need for public health interventions to create awareness about the illness. It also calls for further research to assess the knowledge and perceptions about CRC early detection examinations in Jordan.