Journal of Cancer Education

, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 580–584

University Student Understanding of Cancer: Analysis of Ethnic Group Variances


DOI: 10.1007/s13187-012-0356-x

Cite this article as:
Estaville, L., Trad, M. & Martinez, G. J Canc Educ (2012) 27: 580. doi:10.1007/s13187-012-0356-x


Traditional university and college students ages 18–24 are traversing an important period in their lives in which behavioral intervention is critical in reducing their risk of cancer in later years. The study's purpose was to determine the perceptions and level of knowledge about cancer of white, Hispanic, and black university students (n = 958). Sources of student information about cancer were also identified. The survey results showed all students know very little about cancer and their perceptions of cancer are bad with many students thinking that cancer and death are synonymous. We also discovered university students do not discuss cancer often in their classrooms nor with their family or friends. Moreover, university students are unlikely to perform monthly or even yearly self-examinations for breast or testicular cancers; black students have the lowest rate of self-examinations.


University studentsEthnic groupsCancer and cancer preventionPerceptions and knowledge

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence Estaville
    • 1
  • Megan Trad
    • 1
  • Gloria Martinez
    • 1
  1. 1.Texas State UniversitySan MarcosUSA