Awareness Level of Cancer Risk Factors and Warning Signs and Cancer Campaign Attendance behavior among Saudi Adults in a Tertiary Hospital in Riyadh

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Pathology, Clinical Biochemistry Unit, Collage of Medicine , King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

2 College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


Objective: To estimate the awareness level of Saudi adults about the risk factors and warning signs of cancer and observe the association of different determinants with cancer Knowledge in Riyadh city. Methods: A cross-sectional study carried out on 390 Saudis in the outpatient clinics of King Khalid University Hospital (KKUH), Riyadh. Data was collected using a validated Arabic questionnaire. Data was analyzed using SPSS software. Results: The overall awareness of the participants was limited, as the mean score of the overall cancer knowledge was 49.2%. Most of the correctly answered questions were on general cancer knowledge and not about risk factors or warnings signs. The only risk factors identified by most participants were smoking, alcohol, air pollution and genetic factors. Important risk factors such as physical inactivity, low dietary fibers and obesity were not well known. Despite Hepatitis B virus infection (HBV) being endemic in the kingdom, only 30% identified it as a risk factor. Apart from “A Thickening or a lump in breast or other organs”, < 50% of participants recognized alarming warning signs such as unexplained weight loss, unusual bleeding, and change in bowel habits. Females were more inclined to attend cancer awareness campaigns. Though people who reported attendance of cancer awareness campaigns surprisingly did not achieve a significantly higher overall knowledge score. Conclusion: The public lacks knowledge of well-established cancer risk factors and warning signs, despite recent advances in the medical field. Results suggest that current strategies to educate the public need to be revised.


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