Awareness of Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors among Women in Malaysia: A Preliminary Study


Background: Ovarian cancer is recognized as the fourth leading cancer in Malaysia. However, women do notalways seek help in a timely manner and gaps in awareness may influence screening uptake and presentation. Thepurpose of this study was to determine levels of awareness of ovarian cancer risk factors in female populationin Penang, Malaysia. Materials and
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Penang, Malaysiafrom January until February 2014. Eighty-seven women were selected by convenient sampling. Awareness ofrisk factors of ovarian cancer was assessed using a self-administered questionnaire. Data were analyzed usingstatistical package for the social sciences (SPSS) version 20.0 for descriptive statistics and Pearson chi-square testfor the association between socio-demographic data and awareness. A p value ≤0.05 was considered statisticallysignificant.
Results: In all, 74.7% of participants answered correctly for the risk factor of increasing age, although94.3% were unaware of increased risk of tall women. A majority, 71.3%, had a low level of awareness of ovariancancer risk factors. There was a significant association between age and knowledge (p=0.047). Additionally,there was a significant association between higher education level and level of awareness of ovarian cancerrisk factors (p=0.039).
Conclusions: This study revealed that awareness of ovarian cancer risk factors amongMalaysian women is low. The results show a need for improved public understanding about ovarian cancer risksand provision of important information for health professionals about initiatives needed for future awareness,prevention and screening programs.