Perceptions of new zealand adults about reducing their risk of getting cancer.
Sommaire de l'article
AIM: To assess perceptions about potentially modifiable causes of cancer.
METHODS: An anonymous telephone questionnaire administered to a sample, 20 years and older, randomly selected from telephone directory listings.
RESULTS: Nearly 90% of 438 respondents (68% participation) considered that there were things which people could do to reduce cancer risk. Unprompted, almost two-thirds mentioned nutrition, and more than half suggested « not smoking. » Other suggestions included being physically active, and protection from excessive sun exposure. Two-thirds believed they could reduce their own risk, and by interview end this increased significantly to 72%. Half named items which people could consume to reduce risk: more vegetables, fruit or water; less alcohol, fatty foods, and meat. Greatest awareness was of risks from sunburn, secondhand tobacco smoke, sunlamps, eating animal fat, and being overweight, and of the protective effects of eating grains, fruit, and vegetables. Many considered stress, cellular phones, and genetically modified foods as risks, and vitamin and mineral supplements as protective. Few indicated awareness of risks from hepatitis B or alcohol.
CONCLUSIONS: Greater public awareness about avoiding tobacco smoking and excessive sun exposure suggests gains from past efforts. To achieve similar awareness for other cancer prevention strategies, and to correct misconceptions, comparable resources and efforts are likely to be required.