Knowledge Regarding Early Detection of Cancer among Romanian Women having Relatives with Cancer

  • Lotrean, Lucia Maria (Department of Hygiene, Faculty of Medicine, Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy) ;
  • Ailoaiei, Roxana (Department of Hygiene, Faculty of Medicine, Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy) ;
  • Popa, Monica (Department of Hygiene, Faculty of Medicine, Iuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy) ;
  • de Vries, Hein (Department of Health Education and Health Promotion, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University)
  • Published : 2015.03.04


Cancers can be detected in early stages through awareness of suspicious symptoms or by specific actions undertaken by individuals or participation in medical checks or screening programmes. The present research had three objectives: to assess the knowledge of Romanian women who have relatives with cancer with regard to cancer symptoms and detection methods; to identify socio-demographics factors influencing their level of knowledge; provide information regarding the attitudes of women from the study regarding medical help-seeking in case of any symptom which might be associated with cancer. This cross-sectional study was performed in an oncological hospital from Cluj-Napoca, Romania. It involved 160 women aged 18-70 years, who had relatives with cancer. An anonymous questionnaire was filled in by the participants. The results showed that around 10% of the study sample recognized all the 8 listed symptoms associated with cancer and all the 7 listed methods for cancer detection. The results of the linear regression analyses show that the level of knowledge regarding both symptoms and methods for detection was higher among younger women (B=-0.390, p<0.01, respectively B=-0.260; p<0.01), among those living in urban areas (B=0.872, p<0.01, respectively B=0.676; p<0.01) and those having higher educational level (B=0.883, p<0.001, respectively B=0.536; p<0.001). The majority of the participants agreed with the importance of looking for medical help within weeks up to one month in case that a symptom which might be associated with cancer was observed. The study underlines the necessity that much more information should be given to women who have relatives with cancer about what they can do to detect cancer in an early stage. This is especially needed for older women, women living in rural areas and women having a lower educational level.


Supported by : European Social Found


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