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Awareness of Lung Cancer Symptoms and Risk Factors in General Population

DOI: 10.4236/ojrd.2017.71001, PP. 1-11

Keywords: Smoking, Lung Cancer, Risk Factors, Symptoms, Public Awareness

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Abstract:

Introduction: Lung cancer is often diagnosed in a late stage, which might be related to lack of risk factors and symptoms awareness. Aim of this study was to evaluate these factors. Methods: A survey was conducted to assess the awareness of lung cancer risk factors and symptoms. Kruskal-Wallis, Fisher and chi-square tests were used to compare the groups. Results: Altogether 403 participants (108 male; median age 29 (range 13 to 74) years; 98 smokers, 90 ex-smokers and 212 non-smokers) completed the survey (321 filled in online questionnaire, 82 were interviewed face-to-face). Three per cent of the respondents were unable to name any lung cancer risk factor, 36% named one and 61% named two or more. Smoking was mentioned most commonly, others far less often. When presented with a list of lung cancer risk factors, 99.7% of respondents recognised two or more; most commonly smoking (99%) and second-hand smoking (95%). Concerning symptoms, 17% were unable to name any, 21% named one and 62% named two or more. Prolonged cough was mentioned most often (59%), followed by dyspnea (45%) and chest pain (30%). When presented with a list, 99% of respondents recognised two or more symptoms; most often prolonged cough (86%), weakness (85%) and chest pain (82%). There were no statistical differences in lung cancer symptom, risk factor or prognosis awareness among smokers, ex-smokers and non-smokers. There were some differences related to age, sex, education and type of used questionnaire. Conclusions: Awareness of lung cancer risks and symptoms is moderate in general population without major differences between smokers and non-smokers.

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