Abstract No. 1039 (Free Standing Paper) : PUBLIC CANCER KNOWLEDGE INTO SWEDISH COMMUNITIES

Conference: 
Author(s): 
Landerö IC, Trell E
Department af Community Medicine, I.M.V. Faculty of Health Sciences, S-581 85 Linköping, Sweden
Text: 
Introduction:
The Swedish Cancer Community stated 1984 that "a large proportion of the cancer cases with highest probability have an original factor within the environment (in broad sense) e.g. in living habits and other environmental factors". It is also stated that such factors ought to be a significant degree impressionable and that health education should be integrated into primary health care in the first place. In order to enable well-directed educative activities it is important to assess the actual knowledge level.
Methods: A postal questionnaire about prevalence, aetiology, pathogenesis, risks and prevention of malignant tumour disease as well as life-style and demographic factors was distributes in February 1993 to a random subsample (10%) of the grown-up population in Söderköping (n=1005) and a comparable control commune, Åtvidaberg (n=972). The response rate was 77%.
Results: 13% know the yearly incidents of cancer in the country. 37% know the principal difference between malignant and non malignant tumours. 41% believe that cancer starts by one single cell that divide without restraint. Regarding risk factors radioactive radiation, tobacco use, excessive sun-tanning, air pollution and work environment dominate. Heredity has large or very large importance according to 58%. 49% believe that cancer incidence in Sweden could be reduced by 50% or more through changes in life style and environment.
Conclusion:
There is need and interest for cancer knowledge in the general population.