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Knowledge, Attitude And Practices Of University Students On Cancer Prevention
Background: Scientifically proven evidences exist that the risk for developing cancer can be significantly reduced through exercise, adequate nutrition diets, avoiding cigarette and alcohol and among others. Youths are strategic in cancer prevention because they are in their habit formative years, have longer years to live ahead, and might not have had damage to their DNA yet.
Objective: This study aimed to determine knowledge of undergraduates about the relationship between lifestyle changes and development of cancer, and how much of it they practice, if at all.
Methodology: Pre-tested, self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data on sociodemographic features, knowledge, attitudes and practices of 400 undergraduates selected by multistage sampling technique about cancer. Data was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics.
Results: The study revealed a poor knowledge about cancer and/or its prevention: two-third did not know there is a relationship between fruits intake, exercise and diet with the development of cancer. It was also reported by 30% of the respondents that cancer can be cured. However, more than half reported good attitude towards lifestyle changes to prevent cancer. Less than one-third reported good practice of cancer prevention.
Conclusion: The students had poor knowledge about cancer and/or its prevention though they reported strong willingness towards positive behavioural change for cancer prevention. This might be responsible, for the low proportion of respondents with good practice of cancer prevention habits and lifestyles. Health campaign about cancer prevention could improve the behaviour
Keywords: Cancer, Cancer prevention, Undergraduate students, Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
Sahel Medical Journal Vol. 11 (3) 2008: pp. 84-87