Knowledge and Awareness of Colorectal Cancer Early Warning Signs and Risk Factors among University Students in Jordan
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In the present study, we aimed to assess the level of awareness regarding CRC warning signs and risk factors among undergraduate students. A cross-sectional survey using standardized questionnaire developed by the Cancer Research Center in the UK was carried out in three different public universities in Jordan including Jordan University of Science and Technology, Yarmouk University, and AL al-Bayt University over a 5-month period. Volunteers were asked about their knowledge regarding CRC symptoms, risk factors, and their behaviors regarding seeking medical advice. Findings revealed that response rate was 80.1%. Vast majority of responders were female (70.9%) and 18.2% of them were studying medical-related specialties. Regarding CRC symptoms, 14.3% of responders experienced poor knowledge, 52.9% have fair knowledge, and 32.8% have good knowledge. Abdominal pain was the most recognized warning signs where 70.8% of responders could recall it. In addition, risk factors awareness was lower than warning signs awareness. About 36.1% of responders have poor knowledge, 47.4% had fair knowledge, and 16.5% had good knowledge. Unhealthy diet was the most recognized risk factor where 32.3% of responders could recall it. Moreover, females were more aware regarding CRC symptoms. Similar findings were obtained for participants who were aged 20 years or more and for those who had previous experience of cancer. Students who were studying medical-related specialties were more aware of both CRC symptoms and risk factors than those who studying other specialties. Furthermore, regarding time to seek medical attention we found that 60.6% of volunteers would seek medical advice within 1 week of noticing CRC symptoms and 12% would seek it within 2 weeks. The mean duration for seeking medical advice was found to be 1.9 weeks. University students’ awareness level of CRC is poor, and therefore, extended attention should be attempted to enhance the awareness of CRC via continuous education programs, lectures, or campaigns to encourage the early detection CRC.
KeywordsColorectal cancer Awareness Risk factors Signs Bowel cancer
We are grateful to the Deanship of Scientific Research of the Jordan University of Science and Technology for the financial support.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
The study protocol was approved by Institutional Review Board (IRB) of Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST).
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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