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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 66-69

Cancer related knowledge and behavior among women across various socio-economic strata: A study from Delhi, India

Department of Community Medicine, University College of Medical Sciences and GTB Hospital, Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Rahul Sharma
Department of Community Medicine, University College of Medical Sciences and GTB Hospital, Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-330X.110489

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Background: Cancer is predicted to be an increasingly important cause of morbidity and mortality in the next few decades worldwide. One important step in reducing the burden of morbidity and mortality from cancers is awareness among the population about the causes and prevention of cancers. Objective: To study the knowledge and preventive behavior regarding common cancers among the women from an area of Delhi, India. Study Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Four purposively selected residential areas representing various socio-economic strata, in North-East Delhi. Participants: One thousand two hundred and six women in the age group 18-60 years. Statistical Analysis: Proportions, Chi-square test. Results: Majority of the women (43.9%) were graduates while 10.4% were illiterate. The awareness about breast cancer was maximum with 73.8% of the respondents being aware about it. The proportions of women aware about the other cancers were low. Only 52 (4.3%) had ever been for a preventive check-up for cancer. The most common cancer checkup for which the respondents reported visiting a hospital was, breast cancer. Among the respondents, 46 (3.8%) reported having a female member in their family who ever had cancer. Five hundred and seventy seven (47.8%) had not seen any message regarding cancers common in females in any mass media. Women with a higher education level, having a female family member with cancer, and those who could recall mass media message regarding cancers, were significantly more likely to have had a preventive cancer checkup for self. Conclusion: The knowledge and actual preventive behavior about cancers was found to be low among the women. Increased mass media exposure and targeted strategies can possibly increase the awareness and the cancer-related health behavior among the women.

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