Perceived Risk of Developing Cancer in a Suburban Community in Malaysia

Document Type: Research Articles

Authors

1 Department of Community Medicine, International Islamic University Malaysia, Malaysia.

2 Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine, University Kebangsaan Malaysia, Malaysia.

3 UKM Molecular Biology Institute, University Kebangsaan Malaysia, Malaysia.

Abstract

Objective: To determine the perceived risk of developing cancer in a suburban community in Malaysia. Methods:
A cross sectional study using a simple random sampling was conducted among residents aged 18 years old and above
(n=520) who had never been diagnosed with cancer, in selected households in a suburban area of Pahang state in
Malaysia. The study instruments were a validated questionnaire on risk perception, an automatic blood pressure monitor,
a weighing scale and a measuring tape. Data were analyzed using IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 20.0 and
the p value was taken at p they were at risk cancer, whilst the perceived severity was 41.3 percent. Multivariable analysis showed a significant
association only for a family history of cancer (adjusted OR of 4.80; 95% CI = 1.45-15.82) (p=0.010) among this
population. Conclusion: The perceived risk of developing cancer in the selected suburban community of Pahang state in
Malaysia is low as compared to that for other non-communicable diseases in this country, whilst the perceived severity
was higher than for other diseases. Thus, considering the importance of correct perceptions for behavioral changes,
more health education and promotion is needed to make the community better aware of the actual threat of cancer.

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