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Lung Cancer Knowledge among Secondary School Male Teachers in Kudat, Sabah, Malaysia

  • Published : 2013.01.31

Abstract

Background: The objective of this study is to determine knowledge about lung cancer among secondary school male teachers in Kudat, Sabah, Malaysia. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among three secondary schools located in Kudat district, Sabah, Malaysia during the period from June until September 2012. The protocol of this study was approved by ethics committee of Management and Science University, Malaysia. The aims were explained and a consent form was signed by each participant. Respondents were chosen randomly from each school with the help of the headmasters. Self-administrated questionnaires, covering socio-demographic characteristics and general knowledge of lung cancer, were distributed. Once all 150 respondents completed the questionnaire, they passed it to their head master for collecting and recording. All the data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 13. ANOVA and t-test were applied for univariate analysis; and multiple linear regression for multivariate analysis. Results: A total of 150 male secondary school teachers participated in this study. Their mean age was $35.6{\pm}6.5$ (SD); maximum 50 and minimum 23 years old. More than half of the participants were Malay and married (52%, 79%; respectively). Regarding the knowledge about lung cancer, 57.3% of the participants mentioned that only males are affected by lung cancer. Some 70.7% mentioned that lung cancer can be transmitted from one person to another. More than half (56.7%) reported that lung cancer is not the leading cause of death in Malaysian males. As for risk factors, the majority reported that family history of lung cancer is not involved. However, 91.3% were aware that cigarettes are the main risk factor of lung cancer and more than half (52%) believed that second-hand smoking is one of the risk factor of lung cancer. More than half (51.3%) were not aware that asbestos, ionizing radiation and other cancer causing substances are risk factors for lung cancer. Quitting smoking, avoiding second-hand smoking and avoiding unnecessary x-ray image of the chest (53.3%, 96.0%, 87.3%; respectively) are the main preventive measures mentioned by the participants. For the factors that influence the participants knowledge, univariate and multivariate analysis showed that only race was significant. Conclusions: Overall, the knowledge of school male teachers about lung cancer was low. However, few items were scored high: cigarettes are the main risk factor; avoiding second-hand smoking; and avoiding x-rays. Interventions to increase lung cancer awareness are needed to improve early detection behavior. Increase the price of pack of cigarettes to RM 20 and banning smoking in public places such as restaurants are highly recommended as primary preventive measures.

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