Awareness of Common Cancer Risk Factors and Symptoms in Saudi Arabia: A Community-Based Study

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Nursing, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, Tabuk University, Saudi Arabia.

2 Department of Statistics, Faculty of Science, Tabuk University, Saudi Arabia.


Objective: To assess the level of cancer awareness and the relationship between the awareness of common cancer symptoms and risk factors and the sample’s sociodemographic profile. Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study conducted in Tabuk city, a convenient sample of 675 participants completed a questionnaire about common factors causing cancer and symptoms related to cancer. Descriptive statistics and chi-squared analysis were used to measure sample characteristics and their association with knowledge of cancer risk factors and symptoms. Results: Level of education and family history were significantly related to awareness of cancer risk factors (P= 0.017) and (P= 0.048), respectively. Factors were significantly associated with awareness of cancer symptoms include Gender (P=0.000), nationality (P=0.013), and undergoing regular cancer screening tests (0.008). Internet was the primary source of information about cancer and related significantly to knowledge about cancer symptoms(P=0.000) and risk factors(P=0.00). More than half of the sample scored poorly for knowledge of both cancer risk factors (58.7%) and symptoms (66.2%) in terms of the overall level of cancer awareness. Smoking and heredity were the most identifiable cancer risk factors, and unexplained pain and weight loss were identified by the majority of study participants. Conclusion: The level of community knowledge requires further investigation, and more cancer awareness programs need to be conducted. People could be encouraged to use reliable sources of information to obtain accurate cancer information.


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