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Public awareness of cancer in Britain: a population-based survey of adults

Robb, K; Stubbings, S; Ramirez, A; Macleod, U; Austoker, J; Waller, J; Hiom, S; Wardle, J

Authors

K Robb

S Stubbings

A Ramirez

J Austoker

J Waller

S Hiom

J Wardle



Abstract

Objective:To assess public awareness of cancer warning signs, anticipated delay and perceived barriers to seeking medical advice in the British population. Methods:We carried out a population-based survey using face-to-face, computer-assisted interviews to administer the cancer awareness measure (CAM), a newly developed, validated measure of cancer awareness. The sample included 2216 adults (970 males and 1246 females) recruited as part of the Office for National Statistics Opinions Survey using stratified probability sampling. Results:Awareness of cancer warning signs was low when open-ended (recall) questions were used and higher with closed (recognition) questions; but on either measure, awareness was lower in those who were male, younger, and from lower socio-economic status (SES) groups or ethnic minorities. The most commonly endorsed barriers to help seeking were difficulty making an appointment, worry about wasting the doctor's time and worry about what would be found. Emotional barriers were more prominent in lower SES groups and practical barriers (e.g. too busy) more prominent in higher SES groups. Anticipated delay was lower in ethnic minority and lower SES groups. In multivariate analysis, higher symptom awareness was associated with lower anticipated delay, and more barriers with greater anticipated delay. Conclusions:A combination of public education about symptoms and empowerment to seek medical advice, as well as support at primary care level, could enhance early presentation and improve cancer outcomes.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2009-12
Journal British Journal of Cancer
Print ISSN 0007-0920
Electronic ISSN 1532-1827
Publisher Cancer Research UK
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 101
Issue S2
Pages S18-S23
APA6 Citation Robb, K., Stubbings, S., Ramirez, A., Macleod, U., Austoker, J., Waller, J., …Wardle, J. (2009). Public awareness of cancer in Britain: a population-based survey of adults. The British journal of cancer / Cancer Research Campaign, 101(S2), (S18-S23). doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6605386. ISSN 0007-0920
DOI https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.bjc.6605386
Keywords Cancer Research; Oncology
Publisher URL https://www.nature.com/articles/6605386
Copyright Statement From twelve months after its original publication, this work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

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Copyright Statement
From twelve months after its original publication, this work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.





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