Clinical research
Knowledge of symptoms and diagnostic possibilities of cancer diseases
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Submission date: 2010-02-09
Final revision date: 2010-04-21
Acceptance date: 2010-04-21
Online publication date: 2011-05-17
Publication date: 2011-04-29
Arch Med Sci 2011;7(2):304–309
Introduction: The aim of the present study was to analyse patients’ knowledge in the field of neoplastic prophylaxis.
Material and methods : The research was carried out between 2007 and 2008 in the Provincial Hospital in Bydgoszcz (i.e. general surgery, gynaecology and obstetrics, urology, breast surgery and thoracic surgery). Altogether 300 patients (of whom 250 were hospitalized) as well as 50 healthy subjects forming the control group were invited to participate in the study. A proprietary questionnaire containing eight multiple choice and another twelve open-ended questions was used for the purpose of the study.
Results: Prostate and lung cancer patients were more aware of their diseases compared to the control group, but the differences were not significant (p = 0.85 and p = 0.53 respectively). In the field of screening the patients’ knowledge, it was significantly higher in breast cancer subjects (p = 0.0008) while there was no difference compared to the control group in the remaining groups of cancer patients (i.e. colorectal, prostate or uterus cancer). Those most aware of their condition were patients from small towns (below 50,000), while subjects living in villages were the least aware.
Conclusions : Patients showed the greatest amount of knowledge regarding breast cancer and the least amount regarding prostate cancer. Oncological awareness in cancer patients was found to be related to variables such as education, age and residence. No difference was found between patients and controls, comparing their knowledge of disease symptoms as well as screening possibilities.